Navigation Links
New Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Promising in Early Trial
Date:11/1/2011

TUESDAY, Nov. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Multiple sclerosis patients may eventually benefit from a novel treatment that takes aim at the abnormal behavior of a specific type of immune cell, preliminary research suggests.

The errant behavior of the cells in question -- known as "B cells" -- is viewed as key to the development of this chronic and disabling nervous system disease, commonly called MS.

The new therapy's potential is only in the early stages of exploration, cautions an international study team comprised of researchers from the United States, Canada, Switzerland and the Netherlands, in the report published in the Nov. 1 online edition of The Lancet.

But initial indications suggest that the new antibody drug, called ocrelizumab, successfully targets these renegade cells with hopeful results: a significant reduction in disease-related inflammatory brain lesions.

"Our findings show that ocrelizumab rapidly suppresses inflammatory activity," noted the study authors, led by Dr. Ludwig Kappos from the University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland, in a journal news release.

Describing the targeting of B cells as an "innovative therapeutic approach," Kappos and his colleagues reported that in testing among 218 patients, the drug's impact on lesions was "rapid and pronounced." What's more, to date the treatment appears to be safe.

The study authors noted that MS is a progressively debilitating disease that attacks an individual's central nervous system, disrupting the normal brain, spinal cord and optic nerve function.

A classic characteristic of the disease is inflammation, which takes the form of brain lesions.

The immune system's T cells have long been implicated in disease progression, but the notion that B cells may also play a major role is relatively new.

With this new potential target in mind, researchers configured ocrelizumab to specifically focus on a protein (CD20) found on the surface of certain B cells.

To test the drug, Kappos and his team recruited patients aged 18 to 55 seeking MS treatment in 79 centers in 20 countries.

The patients were divided into four groups, treated with: a low dose of ocrelizumab (600 milligrams); a high dose of ocrelizumab (2,000 mg); a well-known MS inflammation treatment known as "intramuscular interferon beta-1a"; or a sugar pill (placebo). After 24 weeks, some of the doses were adjusted.

The result: at week 24, all of the patients receiving either dose of ocrelizumab fared better in terms of lesion count than either the placebo or standard treatment groups.

The number of active lesions had dropped 89 percent more among the 600-mg group compared with those getting a placebo. Similarly, those in the 2,000-mg group experienced a 96 percent bigger drop in lesions. What's more, relapse rates were much lower among those taking the new drug, in contrast to those taking a placebo.

The investigators further noted that even eight months after treatment launch, no serious adverse effects were directly attributable to the new drug.

That said, Dr. Moses Rodriguez, a professor of neurology and immunology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., disputed the premise that ocrelizumab is shaping up as anything new and innovative.

"In fact, there's nothing novel about this at all," he said. "There is another drug, called rituximab, that's been in early trials for MS for years. And all this new drug is attempting to do is replicate the same that rituximab already does. And I see no major advantage of this drug versus that older drug. It's not better or worse. It's the same," Rodriguez noted.

"So bottom-line, I would not sell this as a major breakthrough in MS," cautioned Rodriguez. "It's not."

Funding for the study was provided by F. Hoffmann-La Roche and Biogen Idec. Inc.

More information

For more on multiple sclerosis, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

-- Alan Mozes

SOURCES: The Lancet, news release, Oct. 31, 2011; Moses Rodriguez, M.D., professor, neurology and immunology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Migraine Tied to Raised Multiple Sclerosis Risk
2. Exercise helps protect brain of multiple sclerosis patients
3. Fitness Boosts Brain Power in Multiple Sclerosis Patients
4. Notch-blocking drugs kill brain cancer stem cells, yet multiple therapies may be needed
5. Multiple sclerosis, Italian researchers discover a possible onset mechanism for the disease
6. Multiple Medalist Kristina Groves Matches Hain Celestials $5,000 Donation to Right to Play
7. Complex New Guidelines From Multiple Organizations Confuses Men About Prostate Cancer Screening
8. Researchers find further evidence linking Epstein-Barr virus and risk of multiple sclerosis
9. MOVE IT! Join the Movement to End Multiple Sclerosis During MS Awareness Week March 8-14, 2010
10. 'Miracles For MSA' Proclaims March as Multiple System Atrophy Awareness Month
11. Sunwin International & WILD Flavors Receive GRAS Letters of No Objection from FDA Validating Safety of Multiple Sunwin Stevia Extracts
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Promising in Early Trial
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, ... Development, has been awarded a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid ... to accelerate the enterprise use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... October 12, ... ... and Dr. Cheng, are now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus ... sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... The American College of Medical Informatics (ACMI) will ... during the Opening Session of AMIA’s Annual Symposium in Washington, D.C. AMIA’s Annual ... F. Collen, a pioneer in the field of medical informatics, this prestigious award is ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... HMP , a leader in healthcare ... Folio Magazine Eddie Digital Award for ‘Best B-to-B Healthcare Website.’ Winners were announced during ... , The annual award competition recognizes editorial and design excellence across a range of ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... (HLA), the nation's first interactive health literacy software tool, and the Cancer Patient ... aspects of cancer patient education, today announce a new strategic alliance. , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/25/2017)... 25, 2017   Montrium , an industry ... today—from the IQPC Trial Master Files & Inspection ... that EastHORN Clinical Services has selected eTMF ... TMF management. EastHORN, a leading European contract research ... increase transparency to enable greater collaboration with sponsors, ...
(Date:9/22/2017)... ROCKVILLE, Md. , Sept. 22, 2017  As ... by Republican Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and ... Kalorama Information notes that the medical device industry is ... the medical device tax, the 2.3% excise tax on ... Act.  But they also want covered patients, increased visits ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ZirMed Inc ., a recognized leader in cloud-based revenue cycle ... ranked #1 by its users for the seventh consecutive year ... ZirMed was recognized as the top-ranked end-to-end revenue cycle management ... 200 beds and holds one of the longest #1 ranking ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: