Positive Trial Results for Novel MS Drug

GeNeuro, a Swiss company specializing in promising therapies for neurological disorders, recently announced positive results from a Phase IIa study of a new drug for multiple sclerosis (MS).

GeNeuro, a Swiss company specializing in promising therapies for neurological disorders, recently announced positive results from a Phase IIa study of a new drug for multiple sclerosis (MS).

The drug, a monoclonal antibody known as GNbAC1, was tested in 10 MS patient.

It targets a protein called Multiple Sclerosis Associated Retrovirus (MSRV), which researchers believe plays a critical role in the worsening of MS symptoms.

MSRV is a retrovirus that researchers say may be activated from its normal dormant state when a person is infected with other viruses, including Herpes Simplex virus 1 or Epstein Barr virus.

The reactivated MSRV protein may trigger the symptoms of MS, according to GeNeuro.

The higher the level of MSRV found in MS patients, the worse their disease and the poorer their prognosis.

The study showed the drug appeared to halt the disease’s progress—at least for a year.

“MRI analysis revealed that the brain images also remained stable and biomarkers associated with the target showed a consistent decline,” the company said in its announcement.

The Swiss trial was conducted with MS patients in Basel and Geneva.

Further tests of the drug’s efficacy are set for 2015.

Francois Curtin, GeNeuro’s chief executive, said the trial result “reinforces our conviction that GNbAC1 can completely transform the MS therapeutic landscape.”

If it works, it could help both patients with relapsing-remitting forms of MS and progressive forms of the disease, the company said.

Though there are several drugs on the market, GeNeuro said their new drug is unique in showing the potential to halt the disease.

“The antibody will act upstream of the inflammatory cascade, representing thus a potential new and well tolerated therapeutic solution for MS, without targeting directly the immune system itself, “ the company said.

Phase I studies showed the drug is safe with “excellent tolerability among patients,” GenNeuro said.