Photo: Roger Riley

NEW UNDERSTANDING: Kelvin Cooper predicts an upswing in interest because of new developments like comprehending the cytokine signaling pathway.
Biochemical message-routing molecules are being discovered regularly, giving researchers new targets for developing more efficacious therapeutics to treat inflammatory disease. According to industry observers, these therapies constitute a multibillion-dollar market for treating disorders such as asthma, lupus, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis-many of which have been recognized as inflammatory diseases only in the last several years. Some observers also believe that as companies refine approaches to identify targets, more job opportunities for life scientists will emerge.

"In the past five years, many companies were cutting back on anti-inflammatory research," comments Kelvin Cooper, director of medicinal chemistry at Pfizer Corp.'s central research facility in Groton, Conn. "Now, new discoveries are breaking. For example, we're finally comprehending the cytokine signaling pathway. This will increase the number of molecules...

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