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Histamine is a pleiotropic mediator involved in a variety of physiological processes including neurotransmission, endocrine and vascular processes. It also plays a key role in inflammation and binding to one of its four receptors (H1R-H4R). Researchers at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology have shown that targeting H4R receptor in the central nervous system can be beneficial for patients with intraocular retinal inflammatory disease including non-infectious uveitis.
<h2>The Technology and its Advantages</h2>
Histamine H4 receptor (H4R) belongs to a superfamily of G protein-coupled receptors and is primarily expressed on immune cells, but also in the colon, liver, lung, small intestine, spleen, testes, thymus, tonsils and trachea. It is known that the H4R can mediate proinflammatory responses in in vivo models of inflammations and has been linked to Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and psoriasis in humans. The use of H4R antagonists has been shown to reduce inflammation but the researchers at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology have now identified that the antagonists or inverse agonists targeting the H4R can be used in the treatment of uveitis.
Uveitis concerns the inflammation of uvea, including the iris, ciliary body and choroid but may also spread to adjacent eye structures and can be caused by toxins, infection and autoimmune disease. It can affect one or both eyes and predominantly is observed in adults at the age of 20-50. The incidence of uveitis is 14-52 per 100,000 people and causes approximately 5-20% of legal blindness in developed countries. Visual loss can occur due to the irreversible loss of photoreceptor cells and is progressed by the inflammatory response; hence the main medical aim is to stop the inflammation at early stages to prevent extensive tissue damage.
It is currently treated with high dose steroids with or without additional agents such as Cyclosporine A but these compounds have many side effects to the eye if used for extensive periods of time and not all patients respond well to therapy. More specific and less toxic therapies are currently the biggest unmet need in uveitis.
<h2>Intellectual Property Status</h2>
Patent pending (WO2014033480)
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The technology referred to herein is experimental in nature and UCL Business PLC makes no representations and gives no warranties of any kind, either express or implied, in relation to the technology and, in particular but without limiting the foregoing, UCL Business PLC gives no express or implied warranties of merchantability, satisfactory quality or fitness for a particular purpose.