Targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome for the treatment of inflammatory diseases

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The NLRP3 inflammasome has emerged as a key mediator of damaging inflammation in many chronic diseases which are a large, and increasing, burden on public health. Atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, asthma, liver disease, and arthritis are all associated with NLRP3 activation making it an attractive therapeutic target. I will describe our characterisation of MCC950, a potent and specific small molecule inhibitor of NLRP3, from its initial discovery to the determination of its mechanism of action. NLRP3 inhibitors are currently being evaluated in early clinical trials and I will discuss the potential therapeutic application of this new class of anti-inflammatory therapies.