Experimental MS Therapy Seen to Promote Myelin Regeneration in Preclinical Study

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MS preclinical study

RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., announced the publication of a research article detailing the process by which Thymosin beta 4 (Tβ4), the company’s novel therapeutic peptide, effectively promoted the remyelination process in two separate animal models commonly used for multiple sclerosis (MS) research. The article, “Thymosin beta4 promotes oligodendrogenesis in the demyelinating central nervous system,” was published in the journal Neurobiology of Disease.

Myelin is a lipidic material that protects the nerve fibers in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Myelination, the process of myelin formation around neurons, is carried out by oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS). These mature cells do not have the capacity to replicate, so once they are destroyed the only way to reinitiate myelination would be to recruit or generate oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). These precursor cells may then proliferate and differentiate into myelin-producing mature oligodendrocytes.

Demyelination (the process of myelin destruction) is a hallmark of MS, leading to progressive neurodegeneration and synaptic failure. Currently no effective remyelination therapies are in use.

Researchers from the Departments of Neurology and Biostatistics and Research Epidemiology, Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, and from the Department of Physics at Oakland University in Rochester, both in Michigan, showed that Tβ4 is an effective remyelination therapy, able to promote proliferation and differentiation of OPCs into mature, myelin-producing oligodendrocytes, while also decreasing axonal damage. The research team also observed that the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling pathway contributes to this process.

Two different animal models extensively used in MS research, the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model and the cuprizone diet model, were used to evaluate this potential mechanism of CNS repair. In both, the improved rate of remyelination and mature oligodendrocytes generation significantly correlated with functional improvement in the mice.

The researchers concluded, “these findings indicated that: 1) Tβ4 increases proliferation of OPCs and the maturation of OPCs to myelinating oligodendrocytes which in concert, likely contribute to the beneficial effect of Tβ4, 2) Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor upregulated and activated by Tβ4 may mediate the process of OPC differentiation, and 3) Tβ4 could potentially be developed as a therapy for MS patients, and for other demyelinating neurological disorders,” according to a press release.

RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, based in Rockville, Maryland, is clinical-stage drug development company focused on tissue protection, repair, and regeneration.

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  1. Ryan says:

    This is great news & I know it’s no comparison but when the Ebola outbreak was in full swing, David Cameron allowed for certain medical red tape/rules to be broken in order to get the most promising treatment to the sufferers. Each day with MS it feels like we are losing vital parts of our life functions & neurological abilities. It’s not urgent to a doctor in medical terms but I can tell you it feels urgent as a person with MS – not being able to walk normally, work normally etc. & not being able to have a personal life (if you didn’t have a personal life before you were impacted it’s very difficult to start one afterwards).
    Basically we are prepared to take risks – I am one of the people who went to Chicago recently to have HSCT if there’s something that is repairing myelin then people want to try it before more of their abilities are eroded. It’s urgent to the people with MS just not to the people sorting out their CVs.

    • Sandi says:

      soooo true =32yrs with the disease when they told me at diagnosis in ’84 that there would be a cure in 5-10yrs = something STINKS……bout time “they” give us some of the treatments on the compassionate treatment basis. hope you are doing well ryan with your hsct treatment. would consider it if i had the money = i had stem cells with dr slavin in ’10 (worked incredible for 9wks). cells in india in 1/15 and adipose cells with okyanos in 12/15…..would be nice if rx’s could improve the effects

      • Maria says:

        I was diagnosed in 1980 and was told also that knew findings were showing every day and so a cure soon would show for MS and you now how we are now…

        • valerie says:

          Hi Maria,
          I started showing signs in ’82 and was diagnosed in’84. I was told a cure was 5 – maybe 10 years away !!! I recently had a friend who was only 59 die from MS. I can’t stop thinking “Why wasn’t he saved ?” The cure is out there!!

          • David P says:

            Hi Ya’ll,
            Sad stories these all are. I was diagnosed as RRMS in 1983. They didn’t have much then for it. You just dealt with the symptoms. In 2000 I went SPMS. I had to quit work (go on SSDI)and go through the gamete of drugs they, the Drs, put you through. Of course, as we all know, nothing works. Really! I do not care what they say. Big pharma is only getting richer and we are only getting sicker. I have seen too many individuals pass away over the years from MS. They, the AMA and big pharma, have no compassion. I am convinced! In fall of 2011 the Drs were sending me to end of life therapists and phychiatrists to get ready to pass on. I couldn’t accept that path. I kept fighting. I found a drug the Drs would say nothing of and got a Dr to write me a script for it. And,,,here I still am almost five years later. I got to see my daughter graduate HS!! The part I hate about all this talk on future therapies is the time it takes. We do not have the time they want to take! And,,, how can they justify giving me nothing and seeing me slowly disappear than trying atleast something. I do believe most would agree with this point.
            Good luck to all!!!
            and God bless us all
            PS I am trying to save for a stem cell therapy. the only hope I believe I have. Ins paid hundreds of thousands of dollrs to pharma over my period of taking their drugs but wont pay a few thousand for a last resort attempt. yet they continue to collect my premiums with no problem.

  2. Kimberley Tunney says:

    this be great if can reverse progressive MS , yet wonder when trails will end and this be a useful treatment.. diagnosis back in 1995

    • hilary hannigan says:

      I was diagnosed 1993 went into wheelchair 3 years ago like yourself my m.s is progressive I want to see my granddaughter grow up I wish there was something I would love to walk again.

  3. Christina Aivazoglou says:

    I had stem cells done in Oct. 09 in Chicago as well; apparently, they only work for for clearly RRMS; we need medicine for progressive MS. The doctors tried but I guess I was beyond repair. Diagnosed August 2006.

  4. Christie Williams says:

    Yes. Medication therapy needs to be developed for Secondary Progressive MS and Progressive MS. I have RRMS diagnosed in 2003, and have just a few days ago lost a sister diagnosed w/ RRMS in 1995 but went into Secondary Progressive 3 years ago. It was a terrible living death for 3 years for her. She was 55 years old when she passed. Please do something for us. Help!!!

  5. S says:

    I am newly diagnosed, however I have had for 22 years. A long sad story. I am not out of the closet yet as am trying to keep working. That said it is time to start a campaign forcing the FDA to move as we are all sitting on a time bomb called MS. Big pharma will never fix us as we are too much of money makers for them. It is time for action!


  6. John and Sandra Bell says:

    I have read through the comments here and am deeply saddened. My wife Sandra has SPMS diagnosed in 2008
    And I have watched her gradually lose the use of her right
    Leg and arm. MS is a truly devastating illness and it’s
    Way past time that a cure is found.

  7. ian r mackay says:

    i have read all the comments they are all the same.my wife was diagnosed in 1990 and told the same thing,there will be a cure soon.she has s.p.m.s i honesty believe the big pharma companies do not want to find a cure.

  8. s says:

    We need to push this issue. How much money does Big Pharma put back into research for a cure instead of just immune suppressant drugs? I’m looking for the numbers they are not easy to find. The foundations are all over the board with donations. They worry about studies on depression and MS, I am not a depressed person I have a depressing disease. Help find a cure and I won’t be depressed. It is not that hard to figure out.

    • silvy says:

      Yes I agree with, we don`t have cancer and we we will be treated with cancer drugs, it has to become to an end. My hope are really stem cells…

    • deb elam says:

      “They worry about studies on depression and MS, I am not a depressed person I have a depressing disease. Help find a cure and I won’t be depressed. It is not that hard to figure out.”

      That was the best statement ever!

  9. Christo says:

    Thank you guys for all the comments above. I live in South Africa, now if you guys are struggling in the US to get the proper treatment, I suppose we here will never get the treatment. I am also newly diagnosed, 2014, first symptoms in 2011, but was misdiagnosed. Big Pharma will not speed this up as there is not enough of us with this illness to warrant a cure.

    • hilary hannigan says:

      I live in belfast n.Ireland and was diagnosed 1993 the only treatment I ever got was beta feron injections I’m now in wheelchair and have seen a neurologist once in 3 years I think I’m just supposed to keep quiet and die lol.

  10. Sonia says:

    ?Bonjour à Vous Tous ?Samedi 20 février 2016 ?

    Je suis également diagnostiquée et porteuse de la maladie MS-SEP en Suisse, à fin 1999 – j’avais 36 ans . . . lorsque le verdict est tombé ! ?Mais la Maladie je l’avais bien avant ? !

    Je suis fermement persuadée que les campagnes de VACCINATIONS ? OBLIGATOIRES vers les années 1955 – 1970 sont la cause de ma situation actuelle et de la Maladie MS : Multiple Sclerosis – SEP en français : Sclérose en Plaques. – Merci à Monsieur Pasteur et aux Pharmas – ! ?

    Nous sommes probablement porteurs d’un ou plusieurs gènes qui induisent l’immunité, en erreur, à s’attaquer à nous-mêmes . . . ! ?
    Dans ma famille il y a la polyarthrite rhumatoïde, qui est une maladie auto-immune. Les vaccins, par-dessus, forment un cocktail des plus explosifs ?! pour ces raisons, tout le monde ne développe pas MS-SEP.

    Un jour il faudra que la médecine cible mieux les traitements à appliquer à chaque individu – mais pour le moment je pense que les cellules souches pourraient peut-être nous aider favorablement . . . ! ?Patience . . . patience . . . la recherche est longue . . . et nous n’avons pas beaucoup de temps . . . ? !

    La recherche est très active actuellement, également pour la reconstitution de la myéline qui pourra aussi aider d’autres patients.

    Avec cette maladie, il faut beaucoup de courage ?pour affronter le quotidien qui est un défi de chaque instant . . . ! ?

    A côté de MS-SEP, la mort n’est rien de grave . . . à part le fait que l’on quitte ceux que l’on aime . . . mais un jour nous les retrouverons tous à nouveau . . . donc : Take It Easy . . . restons calme et cool . . . la peur est très mauvaise conseillère . . . ! ?

    J’avais très peur de la chaise roulante et maintenant elle m’aide pour mon quotidien ! ♿️

    Prendre chaque jour . . . comme il vient . . . apprécier chaque instant qui nous est offert, qu’il soit dur ou plus simple . . . à part Dieu, personne ne peut changer notre Destin ???Donc . . . GOOD LUCK TO ALL OF YOU ✨ ? Vous êtes Tous Très courageux . . . et je vous admire . . . et Vous ? aime ? Tous Très fort ?et vous embrasse bien affectueusement ? ? ?

  11. Mike C says:

    If any cures come it will be from little pharma. There is no incentive for big pharma when the profit comes from maintaining the multitude of afflicted.

  12. Christina Aivazoglou says:

    Check out peptideclinics.com/au

    You can order it but it’s not cheap- the 15 mg. vial is around $380 for 4 weeks and then you have to buy it again for 8 weeks but the amount is decreased so 1 vial will last 10 weeks. Take a 2 week break and just maintain. Question is- how many mg.?

  13. Christina Aivazoglou says:

    I know they don’t have any clinical trials now ( only pre-clinical ) but I want to get a hold of the medicine BEFORE it goes into clinical trials. Big pharma has done squat for us so I’m taking it into my own hands. I am desperate!!

  14. Abigail Denecke says:

    I have read all your comments and I wish wish wish the medicine that each person needed to feel good and stop having relapses was already found. For me- I was diagnosed in 2004 with aggressive RRMS – the ABC couldn’t stop the relapses. Thank God that Tysabri made the relapses stop in 2007. I have no doubt I am blessed that this one 1 MS med that works. I will pray for all of you that they finally find an MS med that works for you. Good Luck and sending you thoughts of relief.

  15. Ann says:

    I was on Tysabri for 10 years. I didn’t have a relapse while I was on Tysabri. I got off of Tysabri because it gave me UTIs. I had a relapse when I got off of Tysabri. I should have been on Gilenya sooner after the Tysabri infusions. I enjoyed Tysabri, except for what it did to my white blood cells and the UTIs. It wasn’t easy getting off of it. So far Gilenya has been good for me. I am waiting for the new myelin inducing/repairing drugs and a MS cure!

  16. Claudia Chamberlain says:

    I have seen no comments on Ocrelizumab (Roche-Genentech), which the FDA just Fast tracked. It has been called “a GAME CHANGER for MS.” The precursor to this drug was Rituximab, a lymphoma drug, which is now out of patent and the company is reformulating it from different cells to market it to MS patients. My insurance co. denied this drug twice for me as it has not been tested as an MS drug. I could pay $15k out of pocket for this drug excluding two 6 hour infusions which I would also have to pay for. However, a large well known Indian pharmaceutical company is producing a Rituximab generic.

    Diagnosed in 1991 with RRMS, have transitioned to SPMS. My doctor said I should be on Rituximab until Ocrelizumab is approved. I am willing to travel to India to have this infused as it will cost about 1/4 as much as Rituximab in the US including travel! Have any of you heard of this drug or considered traveling for treatment?

    • Christina says:

      I did rituxan ( in which my doc says its identical to ocrelizumab but under a different name- all about $ ) 2 years ago& it was NOT a game changer at all for me but everyone is different.

  17. Kristen M. says:

    Stem Cells definitely helped my PPMS!
    Diagnosed 2007,with PPMS. The only thing that has kept me on my feet and functioning well is stem cell treatment from StemGenex in California.
    within 3 months, I was off the couch, functioning! Energy back, no brain fog, no bladder issues. Is my walking perfect, heck no, but..I’m still walking and driving and functioning great for someone they said would be in a wheelchair in 3 years!
    LOVE my stem cells from StemGenex.
    Worth every penny I took from my retirement account! I’m 51 and have teenagers, still lovin life being a limpy mom:)

  18. jonathan says:

    Sadly, as I read all these posts, virtually all MS cases eventually progress to some degree. Even HSCT in early RRMS loses its efficacy in the longest review trial, 15 years (Fassas et al). In other words, the cure can only come from understanding the cause/causes. And neural progenitor stem cells, such as at the Tisch Center, are the only hope we have to reverse disability. We are all one here and we need to push for MS drugs that stop progression by bypassing some of the ridiculously long wait times to bring these therapies to market. I, for one, would rather not live than have to live watching myself get much worse. Doctors don’t get this; no one knows how terrible this disease is. At least with ALS you die within five years. This is a slow, intractable disability that yearly robs us of some function while we try to deal with society and life.

    • jojo jones says:

      Dear Jonathan,

      I am right there with you we need an ACTUP, like for Aids. Ms Patients just sit and wait and wither away. We need to push FDA, big pharma and the doctors who just wave there hands and say, ” There is nothing you can do, you’re going to get worse.”

      • Jonathan says:

        Exactly jojo, there are 400,000 of us in the US. I’m tired of the NMSS message of “living well with MS”. I’m not living well with MS. It has taken my career away, my family, my self confidence, and physical well being. It’s very hard to find a job when you walk with a limp much less getting out and being social. Unfortunately, there is so much discrimination, like no one wants to be bothered. Tired of this and all the false hopes.

        • jojo jones says:

          MS CUP
          Time to fill it with action!

          Multiple Scleroses Coalition to Unleash Power

          Following in the successful footsteps of ACT UP (Aids Coalition to Unleash Power)

          Who and what we are. MS sufferers who are tired of high drug costs and lack of research for cause and cure.

          What we want, action and who we are after, this is only the beginning.

          Wall St pharmaceutical companies: for profiteering from people with MS by charging astronomically high prices for MS medicine, which do cure the disease and the lack of interest in finding a cure.

          The FDA for its for its years-long drug approval process, resulting in the disabilities of thousands due to lack of access to potentially life changing drugs and procedures.

          • Jonathan says:

            How do we do this? I often wonder how we can bypass certain phases in the clinical studies, especially if a drug had been repurposed. I would gladly sign an informed consent , even if it risks life. I think patients should be allowed to do this if they fully understand risks vs rewards. The fact is, only neural progenitor cells have been shown to improve chronic disability . Like all programs, these risk being lost due to lack of funding. Look at the Myelin Repair Foundation….now defunct

          • jojo jones says:

            Hi jonathan,

            We need to go after and petition the FDA and go to our politicians. I believe that there was a group that got Lemtrada passed this way. The problem is, we are ill and I think many of us have become complacent “living well with MS’, is a joke. Plus what happens is many of those who are activists eventually disappear. Why? because they have deteriorated so much. I will die trying before I get to that stage. Please contact at my personal email. Its sad to see no one else joining in. Lets move the fight forward Jonathan!


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