MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Remyelination Research in Animal Models, Depression and Neurological Function, Ofatumumab Approval Moves Closer

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by Ed Tobias |

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In this column, I’ll be highlighting some of the research presented at this year’s Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum, held last week in West Palm Beach, Florida.

#ACTRIMS2020 — Remyelination in Adult Animal Brains Possible via Cell Transplant, Study Says

You’ll need to read to the end of this news story to get to the most interesting information. The researchers’ data indicate that human glial progenitor cells can be transplanted into areas of the central nervous systems of mice where myelin has been damaged, to remyelinate them. It’s worth a long read to see how the researchers support their conclusions.

Transplanting human glial progenitor cells (GPCs) — brain cells able to generate myelin-producing cells — effectively led to remyelination in the brains of adult mice with myelin disorders, a study found.

These results were presented at the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum 2020, running Feb 27–29 in Florida, by John Mariani, PhD, with the University of Rochester.

His presentation was titled “Human Glial Progenitor Cells Effectively Remyelinate The Demyelinated Adult Brain.”

Click here to read the full story.


#ACTRIMS2020 – Early Trial Data Support CNM-Au8 Improving Vision, Physical Abilities

Here’s another early study about myelin. This one involves an agent that’s designed to increase energy reserves within neurons and myelin-producing cells, or oligodendrocytes, while decreasing toxic metabolic byproducts. It’s expected that the process will improve the survival and function of those neurons and support the ability of oligodendrocytes to create new myelin.

Clene Nanomedicine shared early results of the VISIONARY-MS trial, suggesting that CNM-Au8 — an investigational remyelinating therapy — leads to “notable” trends in better vision, as well as benefits in mobility and manual function in relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with chronic vision problems.

These findings were presented during the Joint NAIMS-IMSVISUAL Symposium at Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum 2020, running Feb. 27–29 in Florida, by Robert Glanzman, MD, Clene’s chief medical officer. …

Preclinical tests in mice demonstrated that CNM-Au8 stimulates the production of new myelin, and increases the number of myelin-wrapped nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord, allowing animals to recover motor skills.

Click here to read the full story.


ACTRIMS — Depression in MS Linked to Worsening Neurological Function

I’d expect that worsening neurological function would result in depression, but I’m surprised to read that it may also be the other way around — that depression may cause neurological function to decline. These researchers found that individuals who began their study being depressed had a 20 percent or greater chance than others of having one or more of their neurological performance scores worsen a year later.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with depression are more likely to have worsening neurological function compared with those who do not have the mood disorder, results from a real-world study show.

The findings were presented Feb. 27 by Jenny Feng, MD, in an oral presentation — titled “Depression In MS Is Associated With Worsening Neuroperformance, Relapses, And New Brain Lesions” — at the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum 2020, taking place Feb. 27-29 in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Click here to read the full story.


Novartis’ Ofatumumab for Relapsing MS Up for Possible Approval by FDA and EMA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide by June whether to approve the disease-modifying therapy ofatumumab, while the European Medicines Agency’s decision is expected sometime in 2021. Ofatumumab is a fully human monoclonal antibody that binds to the CD20 marker on certain B-cells, depleting those cells — a process similar to the way Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) works.

Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will review Novartis‘ applications seeking regulatory approval of ofatumumab, an investigational B-cell therapy for the treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in adults.

Novartis’ applications for ofatumumab — which has the potential to become a first-choice treatment for relapsing MS patients, easily self-administered using an autoinjector pen — were accepted by both the U.S. and EU regulatory agencies.

Click here to read the full story.


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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