Researchers Develop Ideal Drug Combinations For Non-Infectious Diseases

Tim Watt  |  November 8, 2011

Scientists from the University of Manchester in England have developed a way to identify ideal combinations of drugs, the first step in creating a drug to combat severe diseases and conditions - such as cancer, stroke and Alzheimer's - that are worsened by inflammation, the Journal Sentinel reports.

Inflammation, one of the body's defense mechanisms, has evolved to help humans fight off infections. But this natural response can be damaging in long-term diseases, the news source reports. The development of drugs that would prevent inflammation may be helpful in managing these conditions and preventing the damage caused by them.

Led by Douglas Kell, professor of bioanalytical science at the University of Manchester, the research team developed a computer program to sort through nine billion different combinations of potential drugs for this purpose.

"Most diseases have complex causes... to find novel therapies multiple targets need to be attacked at once," Kell said in the study. "We have devised a strategy based on Darwinian evolution to make this considerably easier. Although our immediate interest is inflammation and conditions such as stroke, our approach is universal and is thus applicable to all complex diseases."

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