Muckle-Wells Breakthrough Holds Out Hope for a Cure

Researchers around the world are constantly looking for new leads in combating chronic illnesses, and they’re making progress all the time. But it’s not often they make a discovery like this:

Hold onto your coffee kids, because last year, an international group of researchers based in Dublin, Ireland discovered that MCC950—an anti-inflammatory compound developed by Pfizer 20 years ago—has the potential to block the progression of several inflammatory diseases like MS, RA, and Alzheimer’s to name a few. Plus, it’s been reported to actually cure some diseases like Muckle-Wells syndrome.

The study focused on the effect MCC950 has on both mice and human blood cells. While it’s well-known that the compound is an anti-inflammatory, which stops an early trigger of the body’s inflammatory response, no one knew how it worked. But researchers have been able to find the specific pathway where the compound blocks an inflammatory substance called NLRP3. It also found that, regardless of where the inflammation occurs in the body, all inflammatory diseases obey a similar process.

To put it simply, the study opened the door to stopping or slowing the inflammatory process in a variety of diseases. MCC950 cured mice of MS, and in human blood cells with Muckle-Wells, disease activity stopped completely. While researchers caution that MCC950 may not be a cure-all, it definitely has the potential to halt the progression of MS. And in the case of Muckle-Wells, it could be a bona fide cure.


There’s still a lot of work to do to translate these studies into medications. But as first steps go, this is a damn big one!

Ronald Ledsen

Ronald Ledsen

After emigrating from his native Sweden, Ronald spent a stint in the Merchant Marines while trying to work out what he wanted to do with his life. He discovered a love of writing while helping a friend write anonymous Harry Potter fan-fiction online; he discovered meaning to his writing when he began journaling after an anxiety disorder diagnosis. Ronald is most relaxed when spending quiet time with his wife, two sons, and hyperactive cat.

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