MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: SPMS Transition, NVG-291, PIPE-307, Foralumab

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by Ed Tobias |

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MS Doctors, Nurses in UK Struggle With Marking Transition to SPMS

The issue highlighted in this story isn’t just a problem in the U.K.; it’s a universal MS problem. People with MS often ask how they will know when their illness has transitioned from relapsing to progressive. I respond to that question by asking if it really matters what we call it. I wonder if we’d be better off doing away with MS subgroups.

Among healthcare providers in the U.K., considerable variation exists in marking the transition from relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis to secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), a study based on interview responses reports.

Neurologists and nurses with MS specialties also expressed a reluctance to label patients as having progressed to SPMS due to a lack of available treatments for this MS form, its researchers wrote.

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NervGen Cleared to Enroll 2nd MAD Group in NVG-291 Trial

This announcement has generated quite a bit of buzz on the MS News Today Facebook page. The reason? NVG-291 is a small protein designed to boost myelin regeneration — the holy grail of MS treatments. NervGen hopes to launch this trial by the end of the year.

NervGen Pharma has been cleared to enroll a second group of healthy volunteers into the multiple ascending dose (MAD) portion of its Phase 1 clinical trial of NVG-291, a therapeutic candidate for multiple sclerosis.

The trial’s Safety Review Committee approved the second group after seeing promising safety data from the first MAD group.

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PIPE-307, Aiming to Restore Myelin, Found Safe in Phase 1 Trial

Here’s another possible myelin restoration treatment that’s being studied. This was only a safety study, however, with healthy people as its subjects. Pipeline Therapeutics hopes to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for clinical testing with people with MS soon. So applause is due, but no wild cheering yet.

PIPE-307, an investigational myelin-restoring medication being developed by Pipeline Therapeutics for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, appears to be safe and well-tolerated in healthy adults.

The results are from a Phase 1 clinical trial (NCT04725175) that evaluated the safety and tolerability of PIPE-307 in 70 healthy volunteers, ages 18 to 55, at a center in Australia. It also looked at the medication’s pharmacokinetics, or how the medication moves through the body, which was found to be consistent with what was seen in preclinical models.

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Foralumab as Nasal Spray Safely, Effectively Treats 1st SPMS Patient

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to use a spray rather than an injection or infusion to treat our MS? Foralumab holds that promise. So far, research has shown that the investigational therapy was well-tolerated and improved the patient’s walking ability, finger dexterity, and cognitive function. But let’s be careful here — these encouraging results are based on just six months of treatment for one person. A second person was enrolled in this trial in January. There’s still a long way to go.

Six months of treatment with foralumab, an experimental nasal spray, safely and effectively improved motor and cognitive function while easing immune activation and inflammatory responses in a person with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), Tiziana Life Sciences, the therapy’s developer, announced.

The patient — the first with MS to receive the immune-modulating antibody — was treated at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston under a single-patient expanded access program approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April.

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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, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Comments

Paul avatar

Paul

Thanks Ed for these articles.
All these give patients like me the feeling that everything will be ok. I can not thank you enough for that.

Reply
Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Paul,

I'm very glad you think what I write is useful to you. That's why I write.

Everything might not always be ok, but enough will be to keep us all going.

Ed

Reply
Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Paul,

You're very welcome and I hope that all will be ok for you.

Ed

Reply
Nancy Rochelle avatar

Nancy Rochelle

Hi Ed

These are certainly interesting developments. I am wondering if you happen to know if therapies such as the above mentioned NervGen and PIPE-307 trials are targeted to help only the RRMS form of MS? I have SPMS and I've noticed there's quite a large discrepancy between treatments available for Progressive MS and those for RRMS. It can be a little disheartening at times.

Thank you
Nancy

Reply
Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Nancy,

These studies are both researching ways of regenerating myelin. Unlike disease-modifying treatment they're not aimed at reducing exacerbations or slowing disease progression, so my guess is they're not aimed at people with a specific stage of MS.

I agree that too many MS treatments seek approval only for RRMS patients, though recently more seem to be approved for a broader spectrum of people.

Ed

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