Hard To Treat Diseases (HTDS.PK) Scientists report results that are encouraging for the future of Multiple Sclerosis Treatment.
Hard to Treat Diseases, Inc. (HTDS:PK), www.htdsmedical.com announced today that researchers from its Slavica BioChem (www.slavicabiochem.com) division in Belgrade made a great progress in the experimental findings to aid in the suppression or ultimately cure of Multiple Sclerosis which are comparable with investigations of other MS-Research groups around the world.
In a recent press release posted on May 24, 2010 Abbott, and Biogen Idec. announced enrollment of the first patient in a global Phase III study evaluating the efficacy and safety of daclizumab compared to interferon beta-1a (AVONEX) in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), the most common form of multiple sclerosis (MS), one of the most common neurological disorders that affects more than 2.5 million people worldwide.
This study is based on investigations of researchers from University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland. Dr Ludwig Kappos, M.D., Head, MS-Research Group, and lead investigator for the study said: "As shown in previous studies, daclizumab appears to selectively target immune cells that are thought to become activated in MS and cause damage to the central nervous system. Daclizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds to CD25, a receptor subunit that is expressed at low levels on resting T-cells and at high levels on T-cells that are thought to become activated in response to MS. Daclizumab is believed to work by selectively targeting these activated T-cells without causing general T-cell depletion leading to reduction in the number of new or enlarged MS lesions."
Researchers in Belgrade are also making progress in suppression of immune response in MS using another immunomodulatory approach that involved application of purine nucleoside analogues: Ribavirin (FDA approved drug used in human clinical practice for 20 years) and Tiazofurin (orphan-drug). These drugs act primarily by inhibition of Inosine Monophosphate Dehydrogenase (IMPDH), a rate limiting enzyme in de novo purine synthesis pathway causing interruption of cell metabolism. Importantly, this exhaustion of purine pools had a more potent effect on activated lymphocytes than on the other cell types, since salvage pathways for the production of guanine nucleosides do not operate in T- and B cells. In this way, Ribavirin and Tiazofurin also work by selectively targeting activated T-cells. Prof Mirjana Stojiljkovic, the leader of IBISS research team, and Medical Advisor of Slavica BioChem division said: "We have shown promising results in decreasing severity of clinical symptoms and duration of MS induced in experimental animals, and radical reduction of mortality and degree of disability. Administration of ribavirin and Tiazofurin attenuated proliferation of auto-reactive T lymphocytes and their infiltration into the nervous tissue, and thereby prevented myelin destruction. Similarly to our colleagues from Switzerland we have observed that the severity of treatment side effects of used substances was low and disappeared after cessation of drug application. These results are encouraging for the future of MS therapy."