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Two scientists from the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology at Imperial College (London) have been awarded the Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Research. Marc Feldmann, MD, PhD, and Sir Ravinder N. Maini, MD, FRCP, were honored for their research in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
In a collaboration that has lasted 20 years, the scientists found evidence that a chemical messenger of the immune system, called tumor necrosis factor (TNF), motivates the inflammation that marks RA.They revealed that blocking TNF?s effects reduced swelling and destruction of joints in mice with arthritis-like symptoms. In 1992, they conducted the first study in humans of anti-TNF therapy for RA; the drug relieved symptoms within hours.