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Promising therapy for relapsing multibple sclerosis
Date:2/16/2010

SALT LAKE CITY An international team of researchers has found that adding a humanized monoclonal antibody called daclizumab to standard treatment reduces the number of new or enlarged brain lesions in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis. This new study was published online Feb. 16, 2010, and in the March edition of the Lancet Neurology.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease in which the body's immune system attacks the fatty substance that surrounds and protects the nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. The resulting damage interferes with the transmission of nerve signals between the brain and spinal cord and other parts of the body, producing a variety of symptoms including problems with balance, coordination, vision, and even mental function. Approximately 85 percent of multiple sclerosis patients are initially diagnosed with relapsing MS, in which clearly-defined attacks of worsening neurologic function are followed by partial or complete recovery periods during which no disease progression occurs.

"Previous research has shown that treatment with daclizumab reduced multiple sclerosis disease activity," says John W. Rose, M.D., professor of neurology at the University of Utah School of Medicine, Neurovirology Research Laboratory, Veterans Affairs Salt Lake City Health Care System and the University of Utah, an author on the study. "Our work in the CHOICE trial shows that daclizumab significantly reduces MS lesion formation in people with active relapsing disease."

Monoclonal antibodies are immune system proteins that preferentially bind to specific target cells, triggering the immune system to attack those cells. Daclizumab is a monoclonal antibody specific for CD25, a protein that is expressed on activated T cells, and binding of daclizumab to CD25 results in selective inhibition of these activated T cells. Daclizumab treatment has been studied in patients with human autoimmune conditions, such as
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Contact: Dennis Jolley
dennis.jolley@hsc.utah.edu
801-581-5777
University of Utah Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

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