Scientists find potential medicine for treating arthritis

  • Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Oct 16, 2014 00:30 IST

Scientists at Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), Jammu have discovered a new chemical compound in a Himalayan plant which has the potential to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.

IIIM scientists isolated a natural product from the plant Bergenia ciliata and then through medicinal chemistry, created a chemical with potent anti-arthritic activity. This discovery has been published last week by the American Chemical Society in its journal.

“This compound exhibits dual action -- inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokines and blocking pain receptors. Lab scale experiments have been completed and pharmacological activity has been confirmed for anti-arthritis activities. The next stage would be to conduct the clinical trial of the drug molecule,” Dr Ram Vishwakarma, director IIIM, Jammu said.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common age-related chronic disease, characterised mainly by inflammation of the lining of the joints. Statistical data shows people with RA are two times more likely to die than people of the same age without RA.

The medicinal plant from which this compound was discovered, Bergenia ciliate, has been used for centuries in the Ayurvedic medicine to treat kidney and bladder stones, piles, and pulmonary affections.

Taking queue from the available traditional knowledge, scientists synthesised a compound, IS-01246, which displayed positive results both in in-vitro as well as in-vivo inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis models.

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