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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Clinical Applications of Small Molecule p38 MAP Kinase Inhibitors

Tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1b) are pro-inflammatory cytokines that play a key role in the communication between cellular components (leukocytes, macrophages, endothelial cells and so on) that drive inflammatory processes underlying a broad range of diseases. Injectable biological therapies specifically targeting the inhibition of TNF-a (infliximab and etanercept) or IL-1 (anakinra) are clinically validated in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis and Crohn's disease (CD). TNF inhibitors in particular have become a gold standard of disease-modifying treatment in patients with severe RA.

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By Dr Leslie Williams, Program Executive for Vertex's p38 MAP Kinase Development Team

Dr Leslie Williams is Program Executive for Vertex's p38 MAP kinase development team and is also Head of Drug Safety and Medical Writing at Vertex. Leslie joined Vertex in 2000 after seven years of clinical experience in medical information and Phase III and IV post-marketing safety surveillance at two major pharmaceutical companies. Leslie holds a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and is a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Anesthesiology. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Leslie served as a Faculty Member and Section Head of Anesthesia at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine.

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