Establishing a Novel Therapy for RA Patients

Type of Award: accelerator
Award Number: A-007
Award Period: December 2018 - November 2019
Amount Awarded: $ 100,000.00
PI(s): Shiva Shahrara, UIC;

Abstract: Presently, there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and up to 50% of the patients do not respond to the current treatment strategies. Therefore, there is an urgent need for therapies that can slow or eliminate RA progression. To resolve the critical barrier in RA therapy, we have identified a novel target, namely toll like receptor (TLR5), which plays a central role in promoting joint inflammation and bone erosion. By engineering a potent blocking antibody (Ab) against human TLR5, we have shown in RA synovial fluids that TLR5 represents a novel target for therapy. While, the current RA treatments either target macrophage or T cell mediated pathology, the human αTLR5 Ab impairs macrophage and T cell polarization and cross talk. Hence, we propose to test the hypothesis that αTLR5 Ab therapy can more effectively alleviate joint swelling and destruction compared to the current therapies.