MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: Vidofludimus Calcium, Foralumab, Exoskeleton, Dysport
Vidofludimus calcium, also called IMU-838, is an oral therapy designed to reduce the activity of B- and T-cells. These are immune cells believed to be responsible for the inflammation that results in MS damage. In this small study, active lesions — including new lesions, enlarging lesions, and lesions that showed evidence of ongoing inflammation — were reduced by 62% and 70%, depending on dosage. The medication was generally well-tolerated, and larger and longer follow-up studies were recommended.
Treatment with the experimental immune-modulating therapy vidofludimus calcium reduced disease activity on MRI scans in adults with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), data from the Phase 2 EMPhASIS clinical trial shows.
Top-line results from EMPhASIS were reported by the therapy’s developer Immunic Therapeutics in 2020. Researchers at Immunic and other institutions now have published full trial results in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.
I’m keeping a close watch on this study for two reasons: Foralumab is a nasal spray, and it’s designed for people with secondary progressive MS (SPMS). Currently, the only approved SPMS treatment is Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), which is an infusion. Foralumab targets the CD3 receptor on T-cells.
Treatment with foralumab nasal spray resulted in marked clinical improvements after three months in the second secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) patient treated under a single-patient access program.
The findings were generally consistent with those seen in the first SPMS patient and supported a decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to allow up to eight more patients to receive the experimental treatment.
Don’t think of this robotic device as something to wear around the neighborhood. It’s a cumbersome-looking thing that’s designed to be used by a therapist in a clinic who is rehabilitating a seriously disabled MS patient. Special sensors and motors manipulate a person’s legs and waist to help them practice standing, walking, and sitting.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given Ekso Bionics clearance to market its wearable robotic exoskeleton to aid in rehabilitation programs to improve gait and mobility in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Dubbed EksoNR, the device had been approved by the regulatory agency for stroke and spinal cord injury patients in 2016 and those with acquired brain injury in 2020. Now, it is the first of its kind to be cleared for rehabilitative use in MS, Ekso reported.
Dysport is an injectable treatment for people with MS whose bladder problems are so severe they need to use a catheter to completely empty their bladders. It works by blocking the nerve signals to the muscle in which it’s injected; in this case, that’s the bladder. Purified botulinum toxin is already being used by doctors to ease upper and lower limb spasticity caused by MS.
Dysport (abobotulinumtoxinA), a form of purified botulinum toxin, has received a positive opinion in Europe for managing urinary incontinence in adults with neurogenic detrusor overactivity, or overactive bladder.
The opinion is specifically for those who experience bladder issues due to multiple sclerosis (MS) or spinal cord injury, and who regularly require a catheter to drain urine and remove bladder pressure.
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