Immunotherapy… a pursuit race to tomorrow's medicines

This foreword brought to MedChemNet users by our sister journal Future Medicinal Chemistry, serves as an introduction to the special issue on immunotherapy.

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Aug 22, 2017
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In this foreword, guest editor Antonio Macchiarulo (University of Perugia; Perugia, Italy) provides an introduction to Future Medicinal Chemistry's special issue on the topic of immunotherapeutics. This Special Focus issue contains a variety of content including editorial, review and research articles looking at the challenges faced in immunotherapy drug development. The issue covers the discovery and development of novel immunotherapeutic agents for use as anti-inflammatories and cancer treatments.

In 1900, during his Croonian Lecture “On Immunity with Special Reference to Cell Life” held at the Royal Society of London, Paul Ehrlich envisaged the importance of immunology, defining it as a rich source of treasures for biology and therapeutics [1]. More than one century later, immunotherapy is coming of age as treatment paradigm not only in the fields of autoimmune and inflammatory disorders [2–4], but also in oncology with recent successes of immune checkpoint inhibitors for treatment of different types of cancer [5–7]. Generally speaking, there are different categorical groups of immunotherapies including cell-based therapies, antibody therapies, peptide therapies and small molecule therapies. These categories can be further classified into immunosuppressive and immunoadjuvant therapies, depending on the kind of regulation they exert on the immune system. While in the first case they are aimed to thwart exacerbated self-immune responses, the goal of the other is to mobilize immune cells to seek and destroy foreign pathogens and/or cancer cells. Diverse areas of immunotherapy research are nowadays being pursued with immune-oncology that is rapidly growing in the arena of drug discovery as one of the most promising field of development for novel therapeutic opportunities in cancer disease. In the first editorial article of this collection, Ta and McNaughton illustrate the concept of immunotherapy, focusing on antibodies as immunotherapeutics and discussing antibody mimetics as viable strategy to overcome some issues related to production and manipulation of canonical antibodies [8].

Read the full article here:

Macchiarulo A. Immunotherapy… a pursuit race to tomorrow's medicines. Future Med. Chem. 9(12), 1297–129 (2017)

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