Marta Figueiredo, PhD, managing science editor —

Marta holds a biology degree, a master’s in evolutionary and developmental biology, and a PhD in biomedical sciences from the University of Lisbon, Portugal. She was awarded a research scholarship and a PhD scholarship, and her research focused on the role of several signaling pathways in thymus and parathyroid glands embryonic development. She also previously worked as an assistant professor of an annual one-week embryology course at the University of Lisbon’s Faculty of Medicine.

Articles by Marta Figueiredo

MS Patients in UK Now Offered COVID-19 Booster Shots

The U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) has started its COVID-19 vaccine booster program, offering a third shot — preferably with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine — to at-risk populations, including people with multiple sclerosis (MS). The decision follows a recommendation by the country’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization, or…

T. Gondii Parasite May Protect Against Developing MS

Toxoplasmosis, an infection by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, has a protective effect against the development of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a review study. Specifically, people who had been infected with the parasite were 32% less likely to develop MS than those who never had toxoplasmosis. While these findings support T. gondii…

MediciNova Planning Phase 3 Trial of Oral Ibudilast for SPMS

MediciNova is planning to launch a Phase 3 clinical trial that will evaluate its investigational oral candidate ibudilast (MN-166) in people with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) without relapses. The company is actively engaging with potential partners that could help fund the study. “Over the past quarter, we…

Collaboration Explores Therapies for Autoimmune Diseases

Cytocom has joined forces with La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) to discover and develop new immune-modulating therapies targeting toll-like receptors (TLRs) for autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), cancer, and infectious and chronic inflammatory conditions. TLRs are an important family of protein receptors found at the surface…

Ocrevus Effective in RRMS Patients With Poor Responses to Prior DMTs

Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) safely and effectively prevents relapses and disease progression in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients who responded poorly to other disease-modifying therapies (DMTs), final two-year data from the CHORDS Phase 3b clinical trial show. Notably, these benefits also were observed among patients who enrolled in the study…

Trial Will Test Mavenclad for Advanced Progressive MS

After some delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Phase 2/3 clinical trial evaluating whether Mavenclad (cladribine) can slow hand and arm function worsening in adults with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) and very limited walking abilities, has recruited its first patient. The study, ChariotMS (NCT04695080), aims to…

Risk of Severe COVID-19 Not Raised by Immunosuppressive DMTs

Exposure to multiple sclerosis (MS) disease-modifying therapies (DMTs), and particularly immunosuppressive DMTs, does not increase the risk of developing a severe form of COVID-19, or of dying from the disease, when adjusting for known risk factors, an Austrian registry-based study found. These findings add to data showing no…

Oral CKD-506 Lessens Symptoms, Demyelination in MS Mouse Model

Chong Kun Dang (CKD) Pharmaceutical’s experimental oral therapy CKD-506 suppressed inflammation, myelin loss (demyelination), and lessened symptoms in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS), a study reported. Notably, the therapy resulted in benefits generally comparable to those of Gilenya (fingolimod) in these mice. But it also…

Targeting Ion Channel Piezo1 in T-cells Eased MS in Mice

Removing an ion channel called Piezo1 from immune T-cells lessened disease severity in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS), a study showed. Notably, these beneficial effects were associated with an expansion of regulatory T-cells (Tregs) — a type of immune cell that typically dampens immune and inflammatory responses —…

Kesimpta for RRMS Now Available in Scotland at Low or No Cost

Adults in Scotland with active relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) will now have access at low or no cost to Kesimpta (ofatumumab), the first self-administered, at-home B-cell-targeting therapy for people with the neurodegenerative disease. The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) recommended that the Novartis therapy be available through the…

Biogen Strikes Deal for Orelabrutinib, Now in Phase 2 Trial

Biogen has signed a deal with InnoCare Pharma to acquire global commercialization and licensing rights to orelabrutinib, an experimental oral BTK inhibitor (BTKi) now being tested in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in a Phase 2 clinical trial. Under the terms of the agreement, Biogen will have…

MS-related Fatigue Strongly Affects Youngsters’ Functioning

Multiple sclerosis and its associated fatigue negatively affect school performance, mental health, and physical and social functioning in children and adolescents with the disease, according to a review study. Pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis (POMS) also was associated with negative effects on social functioning, mental health, and quality of life in…

Robotic Exoskeleton Intervention Improves Motor, Cognitive Function

Four weeks of robotic exoskeleton-assisted exercise rehabilitation, called REAER, worked better than conventional gait training in improving mobility and cognitive function in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with substantial walking difficulties, according to a small trial. A robotic exoskeleton consists of an externally worn device that encases a user’s hips, back,…

Qynapse Announces Research Collaborations for World MS Day

Qynapse, a company that combines artificial intelligence with neuroimaging technology, is reaffirming its commitment to help advance multiple sclerosis (MS) research and care in recognition of World MS Day. World MS Day is officially celebrated on May 30, with global events and activities designed to raise disease awareness.

At-home Brain Stimulation Program Now Available

New York University (NYU) Langone Health has launched an at-home, therapeutic program of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) — a type of non-invasive brain stimulation — to reduce cognitive, motor, speech, or mood symptoms associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other brain disorders. A first of its kind, the…

Mayzent, Zeposia May Lose Ground in Canada, Report Finds

Mayzent (siponimod) and Zeposia (ozanimod), the two sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulators most recently approved in Canada for treating multiple sclerosis (MS), showed strong launches in the country, according to the latest Spherix Global Insights’ report. However, due to several internal and external factors, sustained relevance of these…

MS May Not Affect Breast Cancer Survival, Study Suggests

Women with multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosed with breast cancer are not at a higher risk of dying from cancer than women without the neurodegenerative disorder, according to a Canadian population-based study. However, 10 years after their breast cancer diagnosis, women with MS were 28% more likely to die from any…