Most of the times, implantable medical devices are subject to foreign body response (FBR) in the immune system. This leads to the development of scars around the implants, shrinking their functionality with time. Now, researchers at MIT have discovered a way to incorporate crystallized immunosuppressant medicines into implantable devices, which prevents the occurrence of severe localized immune reaction.
As evidence, the researchers used crystallized drugs in order to protect encapsulated glucagon-producing islet cells that are one of the effective treatment options for type 1 diabetes as per the research. These implantation experiments were conducted in monkeys and rodents. Moreover, those experimental animals survived for at least six months and 1.3 years, respectively.
The researchers crystallized the immunosuppressant and increased its concentration, leading to compact the package for practical application. As the drug crystals dissolve slowly, so, the effect of the drug remains for months. By arbitrating the size and shape of the crystals, the scientists were able to regulate the extent of the approach.
On a similar note, USFDA (the U.S. Food and Drug Administration) recently approved Soliris (eculizumab) injection that can treat a rare autoimmune disease, NMOSD—neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder—in adults who are anti-aquaporin-4 (AQP4) antibody positive. NMOSD particularly targets the spinal cord and optic nerves.
Around 50% of patients suffering from NMOSD have unending visual impairment problem and paralytic attacks caused by NMOSD. According to one of the globally initial medical research centers, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), women are at relatively higher risk of being affected by NMOSD than men.
The efficiency of Soliris for treating NMOSD was exhibited in a clinical trial conducted on 143 patients suffering from the disorder. The participants were distributed randomly into two groups; one group was injected with Soliris and the other group with placebo. The trial was extended for 48 weeks and Soliris treatment led to the decline of NMOSD by 94%.