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dr hab. Danuta Gutowska-Owsiak has published in Science Translational Medicine
Dr hab. Danuta Gutowska-Owsiak is the second author of the article published in the journal Science Translational Medicine: "Proof-of-concept clinical trial of etokimab shows a key role for IL-33 in atopic dermatitis pathogenesis". The work describes the first use of a new biological drug, etokimab, in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) and the mechanism of its action.
AD is the most common chronic skin disease in children, often already occurring during infancy. In addition, the disease may remain in chronic form in adults, or only appear later in life. The problem affects up to 10-30% of children and 1 in 10 of adults, and is a result of both genetic and environmental factors, leading to a defect of the epidermal barrier, inflammation and allergies. AD is also associated with other manifestations of allergic inflammation, e.g. asthma, food allergy or allergic rhinitis (hay fever). The clinical trial was conducted under the guidance of prof. Graham Ogg from the University of Oxford. The new drug proved to be very safe and effective, improving the skin condition of patients and reducing consciousness for up to 20 weeks after a single dose, which resulted in a great improvement in patients' quality of life.
Etokimab is a monoclonal antibody directed against interleukin 33 (IL-33), which is an early mediator of inflammation, produced e.g. by epidermal keratinocytes. IL-33 is so-called "Alarmin", activating the immune system and the inflammatory process. In addition to determining the effectiveness of the drug, researchers also established the mechanism of its action. It has been shown that etokimab, by blocking IL-33, reduces the process of neutrophil inflow (responsible for inflammation and itching) to the skin. Currently, multicenter clinical trial is underway, this time on a group of 300 patients. In addition, etokimab is also tested in other allergic diseases, e.g. asthma.
Dr hab. Danuta Gutowska-Owsiak leads an immunological research program at the Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology UG-MUG. Her team is working on basic mechanisms of allergic inflammation, especially understanding the communication between the skin and cells of the immune system. To this end, she obtained funding from the National Science Center and the Foundation for Polish Science, in the total amount of over PLN 5 million.