AB Science’s lead candidate masitinib safely and effectively delays disability progression in people with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) and non-active secondary progressive MS (SPMS), according to top-line data from a clinical trial.
The therapy was found to significantly lower the risk of first and confirmed (three-month) disability progression, and to reduce the risk of becoming wheelchair-bound in a broad population of progressive MS patients, compared with a placebo.
“These results are the start of a possible revolution in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, as it is the first time a treatment has shown efficacy in both progressive forms of this [disease],” Patrick Vermersch, MD, PhD, the trial’s main coordinator, said in a press release.
“With this conclusive study, AB Science is now on the verge of becoming the first biotech company in the world to propose a new approach for the treatment of progressive forms of multiple sclerosis,” said Olivier Hermine, MD, PhD, AB Science’s co-founder and president of the scientific committee, and a member of the French Academy of Sciences.
“We will … as soon as possible initiate the process to start a confirmatory study, a necessary step to definitively validate the therapeutic potential of masitinib in a broader population,” Hermine added.
The data were presented by Vermersch, who also is a professor at University of Lille, in France, at the MSVirtual2020 conference, held online Sept. 11–13. This was the 8th joint meeting of the American (ACTRIMS) and European (ECTRIMS) Committees for Treatment and Research in MS.
Vermersch’s oral presentation was titled “Masitinib in primary progressive (PPMS) and non-active secondary progressive (nSPMS) multiple sclerosis: Results from phase 3 study AB07002” (abstract #FC04.01).
Masitinib (formerly known as AB1010) is an oral, selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor that works by blocking the activity of mast cells, microglia, and macrophages — immune cells people are born with that are believed to play important roles in progressive MS. By suppressing these cells, the therapy is expected to limit neurodegeneration in progressive forms of the disease.
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