Promising New Method Could Replace Injections With Pills

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Scientists have investigated an alternate methodology of administering medicine that could possibly be so simple as taking a tablet, eliminating the necessity for injections.

Treatment for continual circumstances like rheumatoid arthritis typically requires lifelong injections. However, worry of needles, the danger of an infection, and ache related to injections can result in sufferers lacking doses. This highlights the necessity for brand spanking new supply strategies which are each efficient and have minimal unintended effects with a view to successfully deal with sufferers.

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and collaborating establishments have explored a greater method of delivering drugs that doesn’t require injections however could possibly be as straightforward as swallowing a tablet. The examine was lately printed within the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“People don’t like to have injections for the rest of their lives,” stated co-corresponding creator Dr. Christine Beeton, professor of integrative physiology at Baylor. “In the current work, we explored the possibility of using the probiotic bacteria Lactobacillus reuteri as a novel oral drug delivery platform to treat rheumatoid arthritis in an animal model.”

Previous work from the Beeton lab had proven {that a} peptide, or brief protein, derived from sea anemone toxin successfully and safely reduces illness severity in rat fashions of rheumatoid arthritis and sufferers with plaque psoriasis. “However, peptide treatment requires repeated injections, reducing patient compliance, and direct oral delivery of the peptide has low efficacy,” Beeton stated.

Beeton joined forces with Dr. Robert A. Britton, professor of molecular virology and microbiology and member of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor. The Britton lab has developed the instruments and experience to genetically modify probiotic micro organism to provide and launch compounds. In the present examine, the crew bioengineered the probiotic L. reuteri to secrete peptide ShK-235 derived from sea anemone toxin.

They selected L. reuteri as a result of these micro organism are indigenous to human and different animal guts. It is without doubt one of the lactic acid bacteria groups that has long been used as a cell factory in the food industry and is recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. L. reuteri has an excellent safety profile in infants, children, adults, and even in an immunosuppressed population.

“The results are encouraging,” Beeton said. “Daily delivery of these peptide-secreting bacteria, called LrS235, dramatically reduced clinical signs of disease, including joint inflammation, cartilage destruction and bone damage in an animal model of rheumatoid arthritis.”

The researchers followed bacteria LrS235 and the peptide ShK-235 it secretes inside the animal model. They found that after feeding rats live LrS235 that release ShK-235, they could detect ShK-235 in the blood circulation.

“Another reason we chose L. reuteri is that these bacteria do not remain in the gut permanently. They are removed as the gut regularly renews its inner surface layer to which the bacteria attach,” Beeton said. “This opens the possibility for regulating treatment administration.”

More research is needed to bring this novel drug delivery system into the clinic, but the researchers anticipate that it could make treatment easier for patients in the future. “These bacteria could be stored in capsules that can be kept on the kitchen counter,” Beeton said. “A patient could take the capsules when on vacation without the need of refrigeration or carrying needles and continue treatment without the inconvenience of daily injections.”

The findings provide an alternative delivery strategy for peptide-based drugs and suggest that such techniques and principles can be applied to a broader range of drugs and the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases.

Reference: “A bioengineered probiotic for the oral delivery of a peptide Kv1.3 channel blocker to treat rheumatoid arthritis” by Yuqing Wang, Duolong Zhu, Laura C. Ortiz-Velez, Jacob L. Perry, Michael W. Pennington, Joseph M. Hyser, Robert A. Britton and Christine Beeton, 3 January 2023, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2211977120

This project was funded in part by a pilot grant from the Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research at Baylor College of Medicine and by Bridge Funding from Baylor College of Medicine. The work also was supported in part by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, the National Institutes of Health, the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the John S. Dunn Gulf Coast Consortium for Chemical Genomics.