MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: Deep Brain Stimulation, IMCY-0141, Foralumab, Vumerity

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by Ed Tobias |

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Select Brain Stimulation May Ease MS Tremor, But More Study Needed

This is encouraging news for the large group of people with MS who are bothered by some sort of tremor. But the procedure to suppress these tremors isn’t simple. We’re talking about deep brain stimulation, where electrodes are implanted into the brain. For many MS patients, the responses to this type of treatment have been variable and temporary. In this small study, scientists are using MRI analysis and computer simulations to focus on specific areas of the brain that are related to MS and provided the greatest amount of tremor suppression.

Electrically stimulating certain regions of the brain may help to ease tremors in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), but the specific brain regions needed for deep brain stimulation may be unique in MS compared to other tremor-causing diseases, a new study suggests.

The study, “Connectomic analysis of unilateral dual-lead thalamic deep brain stimulation for treatment of multiple sclerosis tremor,” was published in Brain Communications.

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MS Patients May Meet Criteria for Sjögren’s Diagnosis, Study Reports

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1st RRMS Patient Dosed in Phase 1/2 Trial of Immunotherapy IMCY-0141

Here’s another potential MS therapy to put on your radar.

IMCY-0141 uses lab-made peptides to force a patient’s own immune system to kill the cells that are involved in the abnormal immune response of MS. This is in contrast to most current disease-modifying therapies (DMTs), which promote a general suppression of the immune system. These researchers hope their treatment will slow or stop MS progression with fewer side effects than currently available DMTs.

A Phase 1/2 clinical trial evaluating Imcyse’s experimental therapy IMCY-0141 in people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) has dosed its first patient.

The trial, called IMCY-MS-001, is expected to enroll nearly 150 adults with RRMS; sites were not disclosed in a release by the Belgium-based company. Interim results may be available in late 2023.

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8 More SPMS Patients Cleared for Foralumab Nasal Spray Treatment

Foralumab is high on the radar of many people with MS, I believe, because it’s a nasal spray. There’s certainly been a lot of interest in it when it’s been mentioned on the MS News Today Facebook page. The treatment targets microglial cells, the immune cells in the central nervous system that have been implicated in the abnormal inflammatory and immune responses that drive neuron damage in MS. After six months of treatment, the first patient in this study reported improved walking ability, finger dexterity, and cognitive function.

Based on findings from the first two secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) patients given foralumab nasal spray, an experimental therapy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved starting treatment in up to eight other patients under a special access program.

Those enrolled in this intermediate-size expanded access program — anticipated to start in July — will receive the immunomodulatory therapy at Harvard Medical School’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), similar to the first two patients treated in ongoing single-patient access programs.

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Vumerity Added to NHS of England for People With Active RRMS

Vumerity is a pill that’s similar to Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) but has fewer gastrointestinal side effects. It’s already been approved for use in Scotland and is under review for use by people with MS in Wales and Northern Ireland. The FDA OK’d it in late 2019 for use in the U.S.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has added oral Vumerity (diroximel fumarate), approved to treat relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in the U.K., to the list of medications available through the public health program for England.

Because the therapy has been recommended through a fast track appraisal process, Vumerity is expected to be available to eligible patients, those with active disease, at lower or no cost through the country’s National Health Service (NHS) by mid-May.

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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.

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