'Smart' drug can target site-specific infections

A collaboration between researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva, Israel and the University of Colorado in Boulder has yielded a new "smart" drug that targets site-specific infections.

What makes the drug unique is that it is inactive upon injection and activates in the presence of a localized site with excessive inflammation, according to the paper, published in the Journal of Immunology. A protein molecule keeps the drug inactive until it encounters inflammatory enzymes.

"This development is important because inhibition of inflammation in a non-specific manner reduces the natural ability to fight infections and is a common side effect of anti-inflammatory biologic therapeutic," said Peleg Rider, PhD, researcher in BGU's department of clinical biochemistry and pharmacology.

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