MS News That Caught My Eye: Diagnostic Blood Test, Fatigue, New Trials and Stem Cell Therapy
Can it be that there’s now a blood test that can help diagnose MS? This company says it has one and doctors can order it. For a disease that’s always been difficult to diagnose, as
The life science tech company IQuity has begun taking orders from physicians for an RNA-based blood test, it reports, that can provide reliable yes or no results for multiple sclerosis in seven days — dramatically faster than previous options, which took months or years.
The test, IsolateMS, can be a game-changer in diagnosing MS when administered at the start of symptoms, the company said. Currently, diagnostics for MS rely on measuring the progress of irreversible neurological damage.
Winner of $4.9 Million Research Award Tests Online and Teleconference-based Methods to Reduce MS-related Fatigue
I could joke that I’m too tired to write about this, but fatigue is no joking matter to many of us with MS. So, the idea that someone is researching a program to reduce fatigue without a patient having to travel anywhere to be treated is something I want to learn more about. This research is just getting started, so I’ll be watching with great interest.
People with MS often face geographic barriers that end up limiting their treatment options. That has led a Case Western Reserve University researcher to test online- and teleconference-based methods of reducing fatigue and improving patients’ quality of life.
Matthew Plow, assistant professor at the university’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing in Cleveland, Ohio, recently won a $4.9 million award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) for his four-year project.
TG-1101 is one of the newest type of disease modifying therapies. These therapies use a monoclonal antibody that targets B-cells that carry the CD20 protein. Those are the “rogue” cells that are thought to attack the myelin of MS patients. (Ocrevus is a drug that acts similarly).
TG Therapeutics is recruiting participants for two Phase 3 clinical trials that will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of TG-1101 (ublituximab) as a treatment for relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis.
ULTIMATE 1 (NCT03277261) and ULTIMATE 2 (NCT03277248) will compare TG-1101, a glycoengineered monoclonal antibody, with Genzyme’s Aubagio (teriflunomide) in relapsing MS patients. Relapsing MS is a term that covers both relapsing/remitting MS (RRMS) and secondary progressive MS (SPMS) with relapses.
The researchers who’ve received this patent say their stem cell technology has the potential to offer strong immunosuppression and tissue regeneration with no side effects. In addition, they say it will be more robust and less expensive than other adult stem cell therapies. It’s still very early in the game but, aswrites, animal tests have been positive.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued a patent for human embryonic stem cells derived mesenchymal stem cells, called hES-T-MSC or T-MSC, for their method of production. This newly patented technology was developed by ImStem Biotechnology in collaboration with the University of Connecticut (UConn) to advance new therapies for MS and other autoimmune diseases.
The hES-T-MSCs have the potential to treat autoimmune disorders caused in part by increased reactivity of immune T-cells. These stem cells — discovered by Dr. Ren He Xu, former director of UConn Stem Cell Core, and Dr. Xiaofang Wang — are of particular interest for MS.
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