MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Plant Medication Trial, B-cell Depletion Study, MS App Award, DMTs’ Cancer Risk

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by Ed Tobias |

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Ponesimod, telemedicine

Cyxone Launches Phase 1 Trial Assessing T20K for MS

This trial caught my eye because even though it’s a small, early trial, T20K is a medication derived from a plant. Animal studies have shown that the treatment can inhibit cytokines, substances that mediate inflammation.

Cyxone launched the first-in-human Phase 1 clinical trial assessing the effects of T20K, its new therapeutic candidate for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), in healthy volunteers.

The announcement came after the company received approval from the Dutch Central Committee on Research Involving Human Subjects (CCMO) to start the double-blind, single-center, Phase 1 trial in the Netherlands. The application for approval was submitted in May.

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Potential Mechanism Behind Effectiveness of B-cell Depletion Therapy in MS Uncovered

Disease-modifying therapies such as Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) and Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) attack B-cells as part of their process of rebooting the immune system. Ocrevus only attacks B-cells, while Lemtrada attacks both B-cells and T-cells. This study looks at how B-cells and T-cells may interact in relation to multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms and treatments.

The loss of immune B-cells, and the resulting changes in the profile of immune T-cells, is a major mechanism of action for the beneficial effects seen with ublituximab treatment in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, a study suggests.

B-cells are a type of immune cell best known for producing antibodies. Therapies that decrease the number of B-cells are effective for some people with MS — but therapies that only decrease patients’ antibody levels aren’t. This raises the question of why depleting an MS patient’s B-cells is therapeutic if it’s not because of decreased antibodies.

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Duet, an Innovative Device and App, Wins Lyfebulb-Celgene 2019 MS Innovation Challenge

This app, still in development, runs on its own smartphone-like device. It allows someone with MS, or another debilitating disease, to send preprogrammed messages to family, friends, and caregivers without needing to say or type anything. The judges felt this was an “unmet need” of people with MS. Do you agree?

Kinza Kasher from LeoPlus USA was selected from a list of 10 finalists to receive the $25,000 grant for “Addressing Unmet Needs in MS: An Innovation Challenge,” Lyfebulb and Celgene announced.

This initiative’s goal is to encourage the development of innovative solutions to help those affected by multiple sclerosis (MS) overcome daily life challenges, or to address an unmet need beyond available therapies.

The grant will be used to further develop Kasher’s potential solution, Duet, a device coupled with an app that aims to help MS patients communicate with others and improve disease management.

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Relative Cancer Risk is Higher in MS Patients Who Switch Disease-modifying Treatments More Frequently, Study Finds

This study reviewed nearly 1,200 people with MS over 10 years. It found that those who had switched disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) during that period had a risk of developing cancer that was nearly two times higher than patients who hadn’t used a DMT or had used only one. Those who had switched twice had a cancer risk nearly three times higher. In terms of cancer types, a significantly higher incidence of genitourinary and thyroid cancers was observed.

The relative risk of developing cancer was found to be higher in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who more frequently switched between disease-modifying treatments, according to a study.

In addition, researchers found an increased incidence of cancer in male MS patients from 20 to 50 years old, and in female MS patients over 50.

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Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


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