Innate Immunotherapeutics Joins MS Consortium

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by Patricia Silva, PhD |

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US-based Multiple Sclerosis Outcome Assessments Consortium (MSOAC) has invited New Zealand-based Innate Immunotherapeutics Limited to join their efforts to develop clinical outcome assessment tools to be used in clinical research on multiple sclerosis (MS). The tool being developed is expected to include a series of tests while improving, accelerating and evaluating novel treatments for patients with progressive MS.

The MSOAC works with top clinicians and investigators from several academic institutions in North America, the United Kingdom, and other European countries, as well as pharmaceutical companies actively working to create novel therapies to treat MS, public health regulators including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency, and patient advocacy groups such as the National MS Society and the MS Society of the UK.

“It’s encouraging to see Innate Immunotherapeutics, a start-up company, assuming an active role in MSOAC,” said the vice president for Health Care Delivery and Policy Research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Nicholas LaRocca, in a press release. “It is a testament to our group’s efforts to ensure that all stakeholders, particularly small companies helping to bring innovation to therapy development, are represented and actively engaged in the efforts to move us closer to a world free of MS.”

The Consortium is currently financially supported by the US National MS Society and led by the Critical Path Institute (C-Path), which was designed to provide data and expertise and share it with the academy, industry, regulatory authorities and patient advocacy groups. The main purpose is to enhance research able to result in promising drug development projects.

“It was very satisfying to be welcomed as an industry member of the Consortium,” explained the chief scientific officer at Innate Immunotherapeutics, Gill Webster. “Our team has put in a huge effort to get MIS416 into a Phase 2 trial in patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. We are excited that the clinical assessments being used in our trial will provide valuable data which should help the Consortium’s development of a much needed outcome assessment tool in progressive MS.”

The company is currently developing a biological microparticle that is expected to work as an immune modulator and target the regulatory, as well as the defensive functions of the innate immune system. MIS416 will be the first MS therapy to target myeloid cells, which were recently discovered to have significant therapeutic potential and the ability to remodel deregulated immune activity.

“This is an important event in the clinical development of our drug candidate for progressive MS,” said the CEO of Innate Immunotherapeutics Simon Wilkinson. “We are one of a very few companies with a promising therapy in the clinic for this challenging disease. Now we are the first pre-market stage company to be invited to join this group.”

Last February, the company announced study results suggesting that Innate’s treatment is able to stimulate signal transduction pathways in myeloid cells central to innate immune responses. So far, one completed phase 1 /2 clinical trial investigated the company’s drug in patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) or primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS), and an additional phase 2B clinical trial is recruiting patients with SPMS in Australia and New Zealand.

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