May 14, 2020

Fischer et al. published in Front. Cell Dev. Biol.

Selective targeting of TNF receptors as a novel therapeutic approach

Roman Fischer, Roland E. Kontermann and Klaus Pfizenmaier



Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is a central regulator of immunity. Due to its dominant pro-inflammatory effects, drugs that neutralize TNF were developed and are clinically used to treat inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or inflammatory bowel disease. However, despite their clinical success the use of anti-TNF drugs is limited, in part due to unwanted, severe side effects and in some diseases its use even is contraindicative. With gaining knowledge about the signaling mechanisms of TNF and the differential role of the two TNF receptors (TNFR), alternative therapeutic concepts based on receptor selective intervention have led to the development of novel protein therapeutics targeting TNFR1 with antagonists and TNFR2 with agonists. These antibodies and bio-engineered ligands are currently in preclinical and early clinical stages of development. Preclinical data obtained in different disease models show that selective targeting of TNFRs has therapeutic potential and may be superior to global TNF blockade in several disease indications.

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