James Woody, MD, PhD: Anti-TNF for Dupuytren’s Disease Treatment


James Woody, MD, PhD, explains the benefits of treating Dupuytren’s disease with anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF).

Rheumatology Network interviewed James Woody, MD, PhD, to discuss the recent positive results of treating Dupuytren’s disease with anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Woody is the CEO of 180 Life Sciences.

Dupuytren’s disease, a localized autoimmune fibrotic process, begins as a nodule in the palm of the hand and pulls the fingers together over time until they are contracted. The debilitating disease, if left untreated, may leave patients with an inability to perform common tasks, such as tying their shoes, and may ultimately lead to surgery to correct the condition.

Current treatment plans utilize a “wait and see” approach until there is contraction of the fingers. Unfortunately, by that time the patient is already dealing with a disability. “My wife went through this with a whole year of steroid injections, which did nothing,” Woody stated.

Jagdeep Nanchahal, BSc, PhD, found that these unusual cells, called a myofibroblast, were driven by the cytokine, TNF. When he injected these nodules with anti-TNF, Nanchahal was able to block this process and potentially prevent the progression of the disease.

In the recent phase 2b trial, 140 patients received 4 injections of either anti-TNF or placebo at 3-month intervals. The primary endpoint was how hard the nodule was and how it progressed after 1 year. Investigators discovered that nodules were much softer after anti-TNF injections. The nodule was even softer at the 9-month mark after the last dose. The secondary endpoint was whether the nodule increased in size. Results indicated that at 12 months, it had reduced in size by 39% and continued to reduce by 52% at the 18-month mark. This is clinically significant because “there are some studies that show that the size of the nodule over time predicts whether a person will have the contracted fingers or not,” Woody explains.

View the full interview below:

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