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New Drug Developed for the Treatment of MS

June 27, 2016

A new form of a vaccine to treat multiple sclerosis has successfully passed pre-clinical trials and two clinical stages, which means if the third stage results are positive, this drug will be approved as a new treatment for MS patients.

A vaccine whose main component are liposomes was proposed by scientists from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The vaccine contains fragments of myelin protein which insulates the nerve fibers in the body. Three protein fragments were selected in the experiment, one of these has a therapeutic effect in early stages of the disease while the other two are used to prevent pathology development during the remission stage. It was found that the most effective option is the co-administration of all three fragments that are inside mannosylated liposomes.

The preclinical tests were conducted on rats suffering from experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis that of which is similar to MS in humans. The myelin protein fragments showed positive effects, therefore researchers began working toward the vaccine. The myelin protein fragment encapsulation technique using an environment of unilamellar liposome peptides is a previous laboratory achievement that was implemented into the development of the drug.

After being tested on healthy volunteers and MS patients, it was discovered that the drug was well tolerated and has a very low probability of developing adverse events. The results from the final phase of the clinical trials are to now be awaited in order for the new drug to be allowed to enter clinical practice for the treatment of MS.