New article on combinatorial drug design for inflammation

Our work on using evolutionary algorithms to design drug combinations against inflammation has been published in Nature Chemical Biology.

Posted on: Oct 24, 2011

Most non-infectious diseases, such as cancer, stroke and Alzheimer's are worsened by inflammation, which is the body's natural defence mechanism. Inflammation has evolved to help fight infection but can also be very damaging in long term disease, prolonging suffering and ultimately risking premature death.

We have used an evolutionary algorithm to guide the combination of several drugs with the objective to decrease production of the cytokine IL-1β, which triggers inflammation in tissues. As a result we obtained several combinations that have this capability. Detailed investigation of some of these shows that the drugs can synergistic and thus be applied in low doses. This has the advantage of minimising toxicity.

The paper has appeared in Nature Chemical Biology as advanced publication online on 24th October 2011.

This work was carried out in large part by Ben Small, a PhD student in the group. Congratulations to Ben for this publication!

The University of Manchester has put out a press release.