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The main mechanism of NSAID-induced gastrointestinal damage was identified in 1990 by Dr. Wallace and his colleagues. Several scientific and commercial attempts have since been made to overcome the problem. These have included the development of selectively targeted NSAIDs, the use of enteric coatings, and co-administration of stomach acid reduction medications. None of these efforts have solved the gastrointestinal toxicity of NSAIDs, and some have resulted in increased risk to the digestive tract and other body systems.
In 2002, hydrogen sulfide was identified as one of three biologically important gases, now collectively termed gasotransmitters or gaseous mediators. Previously viewed as hostile to life, hydrogen sulfide—along with nitric oxide and carbon monoxide—have emerged as central to biology, important in a wide range of cellular functions. In 2003, Dr. Wallace and his colleagues began investigating hydrogen sulfide’s anti-inflammatory properties. Over the succeeding years, their work would demonstrate its GI-sparing potential, leading to the design of Antibe’s hydrogen sulfide platform.