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BioMS Medical's lead drug, dirucotide (MBP8298) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, receives fast track designation from FDA
Date:9/4/2008

otide (MBP8298)

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Dirucotide (MBP8298) is a synthetic peptide that consists of 17 amino acids having a sequence identical to that of a portion of human myelin basic protein (MBP). Dirucotide is being developed for the potential treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), an autoimmune disease caused by immune attack against normal components of the central nervous system. The sequence of dirucotide is associated with the autoimmune process in MS patients with certain immune response genes (HLA types DR2 and/or DR4); MS patients having these genes represent 65 to 75 percent of all MS patients.

The drug's apparent mechanism of action is the induction or restoration of immunological tolerance with respect to ongoing immune attack as a result of high doses of peptide periodically delivered intravenously. The potential benefit of the drug for any individual patient is therefore expected to be related to the role this peptide plays in that patient's immune system. The degree of immunomodulation achieved will depend on the relationship among the peptide, HLA molecules and T cells.

The results of phase II and long-term follow-up treatment of MS patients with MBP8298 (dirucotide), published in 2006 in the European Journal of Neurology (EJN), showed that MBP8298 (dirucotide) safely delayed median time to disease progression for five years (versus placebo) in progressive MS patients with HLA types DR2 and/or DR4. Thus, dirucotide (MBP8298), if approved, has the potential to be used as a tailored therapy for patients genetically determined to express the appropriate HLA molecules.

Dirucotide (MBP8298) is being studied in four late-stage clinical trials:

- MAESTRO-01: A pivotal phase II/III trial for secondary progressive MS

(SPMS) patients in Canada and Europe.

- MAESTRO-02: An open-label safety extension study to MAESTRO-01.

- MAESTRO-03: A pivotal phase III trial for SPMS patients
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SOURCE BioMS Medical Corp.
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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