I was surprised to see that a study of a potential MS drug labeled MD1003 is still accepting participants. It’s a study that I’d love to take part in, if only I was a few years younger.
MD1003 is a high dose of biotin, a form of Vitamin B. When the results of an earlier MD1003 study were announced back in the spring of 2016, the principal author called them “especially remarkable.” That study showed that MD1003 slowed MS progression and improved the walking of more than 12 percent of the study subjects. “This is the first time that a drug has reversed the progression of the disease in a statistically significant proportion of patients,” Ayman Tourbah, professor at CHU de Reims, France, said in a press release. (This, however, may not be entirely correct as this kind of reversal has been reported by some users of the DMD Lemtrada).
MD1003 impacts non-active MS
What was particularly interesting to me about that study is that its subjects included patients whose symptoms were progressing, but their MS was not considered to be “active,” i.e., no recent relapses and no lesion activity appearing on an MRI. That describes my MS; no relapses or activity, but my walking has been getting worse.
A new phase-3 study is recruiting
Now, as reported a few months ago in a Multiple Sclerosis News Today story, a larger MD1003 study is underway. The researchers’ goal is to recruit 600 MS patients. They’re particularly interested in signing up patients whose gait is impaired. Half of the patients will take a capsule of MD1003 three times a day. The other half will receive a placebo. Investigators hope to show that using high-dose biotin (300 mg) will improve patient’s Expanded Disability Standard Scale (EDSS) score, or improve patients’ walking speeds by 20 percent on the 25-foot walking test.
To be eligible to participate an MS patient must be:
- 18-65 years old
- Diagnosed with primary or secondary progressive MS
- Have had disability progression within 2 years prior to entering the study
- An EDSS rating between 3.5 and 6.5
- A 25-foot walking speed of less than 40 seconds
There are other, more detailed requirements. To see if you would qualify for this study, you can click here.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Though the original information about this study said that it was being conducted in 70 centers, and they were located in North America and Europe, the number now enrolling patients is down to 30. They are located in the US, the UK, Germany and the Czech Republic. You can see a list of current study sites here.
But, I’m too old
Unfortunately, I’m a couple of years older than the upper cutoff age, so this study isn’t for me. But maybe it’s for you; I hope so, and I hope this study will lead to the approval of another weapon to add to our MS arsenal.
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