Thursday, July 10, 2008

Breakthroughs offer hope to MS patients

What now for Teva?
Globes - Rishon Le-Zion,Israel
... to the innovative pipeline, first and foremost to Copaxone and its next generation versions - the 40 mg dosage, and Laquinimod (oral Copaxone). ...
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Breakthroughs offer hope to MS patients
Tehran Times - Iran
... of using stem cells in MS treatment,"" she said. And last year, researchers proved that an experimental DNA vaccine to fight multiple sclerosis is safe ...
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The MS Society's Top Volunteers Are Online To Answer Your Questions, UK
This week three of the MS Society's trustees - Amanda Cox, Caroline Green and Stuart Nixon - are online to answer your questions about their role at the MS Society. The trustees are a board of volunteers who are ultimately responsible for deciding how the MS Society achieves the aims set out in its strategy


Multiple Sclerosis - Teva Provides Update On FORTE Trial
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NASDAQ: TEVA) announced top-line results from a Phase III study designed to assess the efficacy, safety and tolerability of glatiramer acetate (GA) 40mg as compared to the approved COPAXONE® 20mg in the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).).


Teva's glatiramer acetate 40mg fails in phase 3 trial
PharmaBiz Tue, 08 Jul 2008 10:47 PM PDT
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. announced top-line results from a phase III study designed to assess the efficacy, safety and tolerability of glatiramer acetate (GA) 40mg as compared to the approved Copaxone 20mg in the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). The 40mg dose did not demonstrate increased efficacy in reducing the relapse rate; however, the higher dose ...


Montel Williams Shopping New Syndie
Broadcasting & Cable - New York,NY,USA
Williams was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999 and since then has set up The Montel Williams MS Foundation to raise awareness and funds for MS ...
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Residents without insurance may get help buying medications
The Flint Journal - - Flint,MI,USA
The organization's benefits have been extolled by talk-show host Montel Williams, who has multiple sclerosis and has been a spokesperson for PPA for about ...
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Opexa's Phase IIb Study of Tovaxin(R) Receives Positive Review ...
FOXBusiness - USA
Opexa expects to announce top line results in September 2008. Tovaxin is an individualized T-cell therapeutic vaccine that consists of attenuated ...
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Not Teva's Forte
Motley Fool - USA
Teva announced Monday that a double dose of its multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone didn't work any better than the currently available dose. ...
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Teva says higher dose of MS drug no more efficient
Reuters via Yahoo! News Sun, 06 Jul 2008 11:47 PM PDT
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd said data from a late-stage trial showed an increased dose of its multiple sclerosis drug, glatiramer acetate (GA), was not more efficient than an approved lower-dose version of the drug.


Wednesday Morning Coffee with TradingMarkets
Trading Markets (press release) - Los Angeles,CA,USA
Higher prices for its widely-used multiple schlerosis drugs, Avonex and Tysabri, are likely to boost Biogen Idec's bottom line according to one analyst ...
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How to Deal With Litigation Concerns in REMS for Biologics (subscription) - San Francisco,CA,USA
At the other end of the spectrum, TYSABRI -- a biologic that slows the worsening of disability from relapsing multiple sclerosis -- is only available to ...
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Regulation of care - UK
I'm severely disabled with multiple sclerosis and have been in receipt of direct payments for over three years, having been forced to use them by my local ...
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Multiple sclerosis sufferers getting 'postcode lottery' treatment
Daily Mail Tue, 08 Jul 2008 11:08 PM PDT
Multiple sclerosis sufferers are getting poor NHS care five years after a drive to improve treatment, doctors claim. A postcode lottery means long delays for diagnosis, poor access to rehabilitation and lack of basic care, an audit of services found.

Research News

Summaries of all the latest research findings on MS selected by a team based at the Institute of Neurology, London.

A 3-year diffusion tensor MRI study of grey matter damage progression during the earliest clinical stage of MS

The authors studied grey matter damage with MRI in people with a first attack suggestive of MS. They found some evidence of subtle grey matter damage in the early stages of the disease but it is not associated with future relapses.

authors: Rovaris M, Judica E, Ceccarelli A, Ghezzi A, Martinelli V, Comi G, Filippi M.

source: J Neurol. 2008 Jun 13. [Epub ahead of print]

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Reduction of Disease Activity and Disability With High-Dose Cyclophosphamide in Patients With Aggressive Multiple Sclerosis

In this preliminary study from America, the authors investigated the safety and effectiveness of high-dose cyclophosphamide, a treatment which strongly suppresses the immune system, in people with aggressive relapsing-remitting MS. They found that this treatment was generally well tolerated and reduced disability and inflammation on MRI. Further larger studies are needed.

authors: Krishnan C, Kaplin AI, Brodsky RA, Drachman DB, Jones RJ, Pham DL, Richert ND, Pardo CA, Yousem DM, Hammond E, Quigg M, Trecker C, McArthur JC, Nath A, Greenberg BM, Calabresi PA, Kerr DA.

source: Arch Neurol. 2008 Jun 9. [Epub ahead of print]

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Strong EBV-specific CD8+ T-cell response in patients with early multiple sclerosis

The cause of MS is not known but many factors are implicated including possibly viruses. The authors investigated the relationship between Epstein-Barr virus and MS. They found an increased immunological response to the virus in people with MS and this was higher in people with a first attack of the disease, suggesting that it might be associated with the onset of the disease in susceptible people.

authors: Jilek S, Schluep M, Meylan P, Vingerhoets F, Guignard L, Monney A, Kleeberg J, Le Goff G, Pantaleo G, Du Pasquier RA.

source: Brain. 2008 Jun 11. [Epub ahead of print]

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Memory decline evolves independently of disease activity in MS

The authors studied cognitive functions such as memory in people with MS. They found that memory problems were not associated with other measures of disease activity.

authors: Duque B, Sepulcre J, Bejarano B, Samaranch L, Pastor P, Villoslada P.

source: Mult Scler. 2008 Jun 23. [Epub ahead of print]

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Improvement of hand dexterity following motor cortex rTMS in multiple sclerosis patients with cerebellar impairment

Cerebellar symptoms like clumsiness and tremor are difficult to treat. In this preliminary study, the authors studied the effect of repetitive magnetic stimulation of the brain, a non-invasive technique, in reducing these symptoms in people with MS. They found that it improved hand dexterity and suggested it might be a potential treatment. Larger studies are needed.

authors: Koch G, Rossi S, Prosperetti C, Codecà C, Monteleone F, Petrosini L, Bernardi G, Centonze D.

source: Mult Scler. 2008 Jun 23. [Epub ahead of print]

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Patients with multiple sclerosis resisted to glucocorticoid therapy: abnormal expression of heat-shock protein 90 in glucocorticoid receptor complex

The authors investigated why some people with MS do not respond to steroids, a medication given to shorten the duration of relapses. They found some molecular differences which might help explain this.

authors: Matysiak M, Makosa B, Walczak A, Selmaj K.

source: Mult Scler. 2008 Jun 23. [Epub ahead of print]

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Atorvastatin decreases high-sensitivity C-reactive protein in multiple sclerosis

The effect of statins, usually used for reducing cholesterol, is under ongoing investigation in MS. The authors looked at combination treatment with interferon beta 1b and atorvastatin in people with relapsing-remitting MS. They found that people who took both medications had lower levels of a protein involved in inflammation. However, whether this is of any clinical benefit is still unclear.

authors: Sellner J, Greeve I, Mattle HP.

source: Mult Scler. 2008 Jun 23. [Epub ahead of print]

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Interferon {beta} therapy increases serum ferritin levels in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

Ferritin, a protein involved in iron metabolism which is thought may have a protective role against inflammatory injury, is increased in some types of MS. The authors found that treatment with interferon-beta increases ferritin concentration. Further studies are needed to evaluate its role in MS.

authors: Sena A, Pedrosa R, Ferret-Sena V, Cascais MJ, Roque R, Araújo C, Couderc R.

source: Mult Scler. 2008 Jun 23. [Epub ahead of print]

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Other research news

ECTRIMS Research Fellowship Exchange Programme

The one- or two-year fellowships are offered to young European postdoctoral neuroscientists to facilitate their conduct of and training in basic, clinical or applied research related to MS in European laboratories or clinics. The submission deadline is 1 December, 2008.
For more information, please click here.

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MS News


Summaries of MS news from websites around the world.


US: Previous report of two cases of melanoma (skin cancer) reported in people taking tysabri for MS updated with company rebuttal

source: US National MS Society

This story was originally reported on 7 February 2008 and now includes an update.

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Italy: Volunteers at MS Society from Deloitte's

source: Associazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla

The Italian MS Society (Associazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla or AISM) were pleased to be the recipients of an event called "Here we are" which involved volunteers from Deloitte’s spending 13 June 2008 helping at AISM.

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Complementary and Alternative Therapies

Ms. Morrison

Research Coordinator MS Clinical Trials Group at the University of BC
View BIO

Q :
I have just read an article in the Wisconsin State Journal and noticed that the National MS Society in the states is funding a trial on treating MS with a cocktail of worm eggs, which will hatch inside the patient’s body. Have you heard of this study? Can you tell me more?
A :
There has been some extensive news coverage of a small initial University of Wisconsin open trial in five MS patients of infecting them with pig whip worms. The whip worm is a common parasite in tropical zones and doesn't usually cause a lot of disease symptoms and the pig whip work seems particularly benign. However, it clings to the wall of the intestine, and the body reacts to it with an immunological reaction.
It is hoped that the immunological reaction with suppression of certain T lymphocytes, will have a benefit in MS. The theory is based on some observations that MS patients with hook worm infection have less relapses of their MS, and is in keeping with the hygiene theory of illnesses, including MS, that being infected with agents early in life may afford some protective immunity.
It is always a concern when illness is treated by giving a person another disorder, particularly an infection, but the theory seems with testing in a small number of carefully observed volunteers.
I suspect that if this works it would lead to observations that would accomplish the same end result without the necessity of swallowing worm eggs, which is something most MS patients would find difficult to accept.
Best to wait and see if the theory pans out in practice, it is important to have such studies done in an academic center that will get clear and objective answers.
7/10/2008 2:19:37 AM
More answers from Ms. Wendy Morrison
More answers in the category: Complementary and Alternative Therapies


MS in focus Issue 11 - Stem cells and Remyelination in MS

MS in focus Issue 11 - 2008

msinfocus 11 cover

•Stem cells and Remyelination in MS
English (1404kb) [pdf]


Letter from the Editor 3
Stem cells: understanding their role in treating MS 4
Mesenchymal stem cells: promises and reality 7
Neural stem cells for myelin repair in MS 9
Human embryonic stem cells: an experimental and therapeutic resource? 12
Haematopoietic stem cell therapy: can we repair the immune system in MS? 16
Remyelination: the next treatment target for MS? 18
Building a policy on stem cells in MS 21
Your questions answered 23
Interview: Dr Pablo Villoslada 24
Stem cells online survey results 25
Reviews 26
Glossary 27

Editorial Statement
The content of MS in Focus is based on professional knowledge and experience. The editor and authors endeavour to provide relevant and up-to-date information. Information provided through MS in Focus is not intended to substitute for advice, prescription or recommendation from a physician or other healthcare professional. For specific, personalised information, consult your healthcare provider. MSIF does not approve, endorse or recommend specific products or services, but provides information to assist people in making their own decisions.

MS in focus -current Issue


In the Spotlight | More Topics |

from Julie Stachowiak, Ph.D.
These first two articles were the most difficult pieces that I have tackled in the year since I have been building my site. Part of the difficulty came from the lack of information available on the topic of primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). However, part of the problem was that I was so emotional about the topic once I saw how little information there was and how much the term "multiple sclerosis" is pretty much used to mean just relapsing-remitting MS.

I am sorry that it took so long for me to begin work on my articles about progressive forms of MS, and rest assured that I won't stop here. Take care of yourselves, my friends.

In the Spotlight

What Are the Typical Symptoms of Primary Progressive MS
This was an incredibly labor-intensive, difficult article to write - and it is one of my shorter ones.

Why was it so hard? I'll tell you - there is a lack of information out in the world about primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS). What is there is in neurology textbooks and journal articles, many of which date back years and don't always agree with one another 100%.

It seems that the term "multiple sclerosis" or "MS" is pretty much assumed to be relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) by the vast majority of writers out there, and (for many reasons) more compelling for researchers.

I have been guilty of this myself, in trying to build my site, mostly because I assumed (like many people) that the types of MS were fairly similar, just differing in severity. Not so. PPMS is actually very different in many ways, including the first symptoms that people have.

Read the full article: What Are the Typical Symptoms of Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis?

More Topics

How is Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosed?
Diagnosis of primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) has special challenges, as PPMS lacks both relapses and the striking MRI findings that are present in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). It can also progress pretty slowly, so it may take many months for people to begin to realize that they are stumbling a little more or having a hard time walking as far as they used to.

All in all, this makes for a potentially very long period of frustration, as doctors often can't give a definitive answer until they rule out many other different disorders and patients can't find much information about what might be causing the symptoms that they are experiencing (or find too much misleading information).

Read the full article: How is Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosed?

Principles to Promote Quality of Life of People with MS
On a different note, I thought I'd bring this one up again to remind us that we all deserve to live with dignity. I hope this will help lift the spirits of those of you that are suffering from the heat right now.

Read the full article: Principles to Promote Quality of Life of People with Multiple Sclerosis


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