Friday, August 15, 2008

Pluristem's PLX-MS Shows Potential Benefit In The Prevention Of Multiple Sclerosis - Epstein-Barr Virus Closely Tied to MS

Pluristem's PLX-MS Shows Potential Benefit In The Prevention Of Multiple Sclerosis
Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (NasdaqCM:PSTI) (DAX:PJT) a bio-therapeutics company dedicated to the commercialization of non-personalized (allogeneic) cell therapy products for a variety of degenerative, ischemic and autoimmune indications, today announced that the Company's PLacental eXpanded (PLX-MS) cells have demonstrated in vivo efficacy in the prevention of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).


BioMS Medical Announces Positive Interim Analysis On Phase III Trial Of Dirucotide (MBP8298) For Multiple Sclerosis
BioMS Medical Corp. (TSX: MS), a leading developer in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), announced that the independent Drug Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) for the MAESTRO-01 trial has conducted the scheduled interim analysis of efficacy and safety and has recommended that the trial continue to completion.

European Medicines Agency Update On Progressive Multifocalleukoencephalopathy (PML) And Tysabri
At the end of July 2008, the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) receivedtwo reports of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) inpatients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) who have beentreated with Tysabri.

FTY720 Fingolimod Novartis


FTY720 is the New Hope For Treating Viral Infections
eFluxMedia - USA
The drug they discovered is called FTY720 or fingolomod and succeeds in doing that. It helped the animals fight off a virus that causes a mouse form of ...
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White blood cells retreat to victory
Nature.com (subscription) - London,England,UK
So Altman’s team gave the mice a drug called FTY720 to stop cells leaving the lymph nodes. Lo and behold the mice managed to get rid of the clone 13 strain. ...
See all stories on this topic

Immunosuppressant fights infection
Pharmacy Europe - London,England,UK
However, a new drug, FTY720 (fingolomod), works in an unusual way by trapping the immune system's white blood cells in the lymph nodes. ...
See all stories on this topic

New drug 'fights infection'
The Press Association -
The drug, FTY720, works in an unusual way by trapping the immune system's white blood cells in the lymph nodes. Scientists found that low doses of the drug ...
See all stories on this topic

MS drug may work against viral infection: study
Reuters - USA
Low doses of the drug FTY720, also called fingolimod, given to mice once a day for three days eliminated an infection by a virus that can cause meningitis, ...
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Google Blogs Alert for: FTY720 Fingolimod Novartis

Novartis AG MS Drug May Work Against Viral Infection, Emory ...
Low doses of the drug FTY720, also called fingolimod, given to mice once a day for three days eliminated an infection by a virus that can cause meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes...
BioSpace.com Featured News and Stories - http://www.biospace.com/

Wanna Know Why Drug Discovery/Development Is Hard?
By Eben Tessari
MS News: Fingolimod (FTY720) Open Label Results and Tysabri PML Data; Daiichi Sankyo Goes Generic with Ranbaxy Purchase; TEVA Gets Taste of Own Medicine; Big Pharma Tries to Shake Things Up; Drug Development: From Discovery to NDA ...
Pharmababble - http://www.pharmababble.com

MS drug may work against viral infection: study
By Bonnie
A drug that Novartis AG is currently testing, in people with Multiple Sclerosis; also has the potential to treat certain viral infections, perhaps including the AIDS virus, US researchers said on Wednesday. Low doses of the drug FTY720, ...
Multiple Sclerosis - http://scamparoo.wordpress.com

Novartis Example: Why Drug Discovery / Development Is Hard
Seeking Alpha - New York,NY,USA
FTY270 (fingolimod), an S1P1 modulator, is a T-cell specific immunosuppressant and is a hot, emerging phase III therapy for MS from Novartis (NVS). ...

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Cyclophosphamide multiple sclerosis

Accentia Reports Fiscal Third Quarter Financial Results

MarketWatch - USA
Leading researchers at Johns Hopkins University published unprecedented study results in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, showing therapy with Revimmune ...
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RPI-78M (Nutra Pharma / ReceptoPharm)

ReceptoPharm Finishes AMN Study
FDA news (subscription) - Falls Church,VA,USA
ReceptoPharm, a subsidiary of Nutra Pharma, has successfully completed the Phase IIb/IIIa clinical trial of its drug RPI-78M as a treatment for adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN).

Similar to multiple sclerosis, AMN is a rare inherited metabolic disorder that affects approximately 30,000 people worldwide. Slowly progressive over several decades, it is characterized by the loss of the fatty covering on nerve fibers within the brain, thereby degenerating the adrenal gland.

ReceptoPharm said it expects to present the study’s findings by the end of next month. It has applied for orphan drug status in the U.S. and intends to do so in the EU.


See all stories on this topic

Noble Financial Capital Markets MAD MAX Equity Conference ...
StreetInsider.com (subscription) - Birmingham,MI,USA
Pipex is focused on treating Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), multiple sclerosis (MS), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia. ...
See all stories on this topic

Friday Newspaper Review - Irish Business News and International ...
FinFacts Ireland - Ireland
The two cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) reported at the end of July occurred in patients who had been receiving Tysabri for more ...
See all stories on this topic

Tysabri

Tysabri PML Cases Get Attention of European Drug Agency
Newsinferno.com - New York,NY,USA
European health regulators are taking a hard look at two cases of a potentially lethal brain infection linked to the drug Tysabri. About 31800 people take ...
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Nutra Pharma Announces Initial Positive Safety Data From Clinical Study In Adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN)
Medical News Today Fri, 15 Aug 2008 4:14 AM PDT
Nutra Pharma Corp. (OTCBB: NPHC), a biotechnology company that is developing drugs for HIV and Multiple Sclerosis, has announced that its wholly-owned drug discovery subsidiary, ReceptoPharm, has reported initial positive safety data from its Phase IIb/IIIa clinical study of RPI-78M for treating Adrenomyeloneuropathy (AMN).

BioMS Medical Announces Positive Interim Analysis On Phase III Trial Of Dirucotide (MBP8298) For Multiple Sclerosis
Medical News Today Thu, 14 Aug 2008 2:19 AM PDT
BioMS Medical Corp. (TSX: MS), a leading developer in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), announced that the independent Drug Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) for the MAESTRO-01 trial has conducted the scheduled interim analysis of efficacy and safety and has recommended that the trial continue to completion

MS drug may work against viral infection: study
Reuters via Yahoo! News Wed, 13 Aug 2008 2:58 PM PDT
A drug that Novartis AG is testing in people with multiple sclerosis also has the potential to treat certain viral infections, perhaps including the AIDS virus, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

European Medicines Agency Update On Progressive Multifocalleukoencephalopathy (PML) And Tysabri
Medical News Today Thu, 14 Aug 2008 2:18 AM PDT
At the end of July 2008, the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) received two reports of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) who have been treated with Tysabri. PML is a rare brain infection with symptoms that are similar to those of an MS attack

Pluristem's PLX-MS Shows Potential Benefit In The Prevention Of Multiple Sclerosis
Medical News Today Wed, 13 Aug 2008 4:18 AM PDT
Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (NasdaqCM:PSTI) (DAX:PJT) a bio-therapeutics company dedicated to the commercialization of non-personalized (allogeneic) cell therapy products for a variety of degenerative, ischemic and autoimmune indications, today announced that the Company's PLacental eXpanded (PLX-MS) cells have demonstrated in vivo efficacy in the prevention of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).


(AFX UK Focus) 2008-08-13 16:49 EU watchdog assessing Tysabri brain disease cases
Interactive Investor Wed, 13 Aug 2008 9:22 AM PDT
LONDON, Aug 13 (Reuters) - The European Medicines Agency said on Wednesday it was assessing two cases of a potentially deadly brain disease reported last month in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients being treated with the drug Tysabri

Depression blog
Mayo Clinic Thu, 14 Aug 2008 11:40 PM PDT
Vagus nerve stimulation was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the summer of 2005 for the treatment of chronic, or recurrent, treatment-resistant depression (not as a first-line treatment).



Reported April 14, 2003

Protecting MS Patients -- Full-Length Doctor's Interview

In this full-length interview, Marco Rizzo, M.D., Ph.D., explains how a new drug could reinstate the immune system in MS patients.

Ivanhoe Broadcast News Transcript with
Marco Rizzo, M.D., Ph.D., Neurologist,
Yale University School of Medicine,

New Haven, Connecticut,
TOPIC: Protecting MS Patients

What is the definition of multiple sclerosis?

Dr. Rizzo: Multiple sclerosis is a disease in which the immune system misbehaves and attacks the brain and spinal cord. The disease comes in the form of attacks in which the immune system is inappropriately activated or turned on and it attacks specific parts of the brain or parts of the spinal cord and causes neurologic deficit.

Is there a cure?

Dr. Rizzo: There is no cure for multiple sclerosis.

What are the most commonly prescribed treatments right now for multiple sclerosis?

Dr. Rizzo: Right now, there are four standard therapies that are referred to as disease modifying therapies. These therapies are intended to decrease the number of attacks or the number of relapses that patients experience, and the big four are so-called ABCR drugs, which are Avonex® (biogen), Betaferon®/Betaseron® (berlex), Copaxone®, and Rebif® (serono). They may be divided coarsely into the so-called Interferon group, which is Avonex, Betaseron, and Rebif, vs. Copaxone, which is a slightly different philosophy of therapy.

How effective are the ABCR drugs in keeping a patient’s MS condition at a certain level and not allowing it to progress or deteriorate?

Dr. Rizzo: Not very effective. Unfortunately, those patients that are on the drug very often do continue to have relapses even though the relapses are decreased in frequency, and it's unclear at this time if any of these medications prevent the so-called secondarily progressive phase.

You were part of a drug trial, which is in its final phase of testing -- an experimental drug that may be an addition to the current drugs that you talked about for treating MS. What is this new drug and why was it chosen? What is its potential?

Dr. Rizzo: Antegren (natalizumab), is quite an interesting drug. Before I go into what the drug does, you should know that as part of the disease multiple sclerosis, lymphocytes, those portions of the immune system that misbehave, lymphocytes traffic from the blood into the brain and spinal cord and that’s actually a very important blunder that the body allows or that the body makes in the disease multiple sclerosis. Antegren prevents the trafficking of these destructive lymphocytes from the blood into the brain.

How does it do that?

Dr. Rizzo: In order for a lymphocyte to go from the blood into the brain, it has to recognize, it has a key to a lock so-to-speak, and it has to turn the key to go into the brain through the blood/brain barrier. What this drug does is essentially changes the lock so the key doesn’t fit, so to speak.

Does it, in a sense, correct the immune system?

Dr. Rizzo: It doesn’t correct the immune system, per se. Antegren is a drug that keeps the immune system from entering the spinal cord and brain and wreaking destruction.

Explain to me the parameters of the drug trial. How many people were involved, what are the goals, and where is it now?

Dr. Rizzo: The one that was published was a trial of a few hundred patients. The current trial is about 700 patients.

There are three phases, right?

Dr. Rizzo: Yes. So, the current phase, the phase III trial, which is a large, North American trial, includes about 700 patients. These patients are being randomized to either Antegren or placebo and they’re being followed, both in terms of their clinical disease and the brain MRIs are being sequentially viewed and evaluated to determine how the drug affects the disease in the brain as well as the individual patients.

What do the 700 patients have to do? Do they have to come in every month to get an injection?

Dr. Rizzo: Yes, exactly. It’s a lot of work to participate in the drug trial. When a patient participates in a trial, what they’re doing is essentially taking their disability and contributing to the greater good or they’re contributing to hopefully benefit their friends, colleagues and strangers who also have multiple sclerosis down the road. A patient does not enter a clinical trial because they think they’re getting the most advanced therapy. The FDA allows us to conduct placebo-controlled trials because medications for multiple sclerosis don’t work that well. So, when a patient decides to participate in a trial, they have to work hard. They have to come to whatever research center they’re affiliated with once a week and then once a month. They get frequent MRI scans, they get blood draws, and it’s a lot of work, agonizing.

The 700 patients, half of them get placebo, half of them get the drug?

Dr. Rizzo: Yes.

What do the 700 patients need to do for this particular phase III trial?

Dr. Rizzo: What happens is they first come in and they’re screened, so they’re examined by a physician like myself or one of my colleagues to determine if they have relapsing and remitting multiple sclerosis. If they do, then they have to meet the other criteria, for instance, they can’t be a pregnant female, they can’t be too old, or have other superimposed medical diseases that might preclude them from participating. Once they pass through the screening phase, then they get a baseline MRI scan, a baseline neurologic examination, and after I think two or three MRI scans, I don’t remember. But after a number of MRI scans, they begin the study drug and that drug might be a placebo or the Antegren.

If Antegren is found at the end of all of this testing to be a successful treatment, what would be the significance of that for MS patients?

Dr. Rizzo: It gives MS patients more options for treatment. Right now, we essentially have two classes of compounds -- there are the interferons, there’s Copaxone, not even talking about chemotherapy in certain forms of multiple sclerosis. This gives us another option. Not only is it going to be demonstrated to be effective as monotherapy, we hope, but because it has a unique mechanism, it may be complementary to our current treatments.

Were you looking for typically mild MS patients?

Dr. Rizzo: Well, the enrollment criteria in this trial and in many trials include patients that are not too sick and not too well. We want to get patients who are actively experiencing relapses because otherwise we have no way of really telling in the short term of the drug is effective at all.

If Antegren is found to be an effective treatment, what significance does that hold for multiple sclerosis patients?

Dr. Rizzo: It provides another treatment option. Treatment options right now are quite limited. It will provide an additional modality of treatment and may provide complementary treatments and provide a venue for possible combination therapies.

How does Antegren work to restore the immune system in a person suffering from multiple sclerosis?

Dr. Rizzo: Right now, there are no therapies that really restore the immune system. Restoration occurs only by the body itself. What these medications do and what Antegren does is modify the immune system, and in Antegren’s case, decreases the ability of the immune system to go into the brain, to actually enter the brain and cause damage.

So Antegren alone has been found to do what?

Dr. Rizzo: Antegren, in the phase II trial, the outcome measure, that is the barometer that we used to determine if the drug was effective, was primarily by using the brain MRI scan. The brain MRI scan, we looked for active lesions, areas where the multiple sclerosis was actively attacking the brain and we do that by what’s called enhancement or gadolinium enhancement in the brain MRI scans. What we did was we selected patients that actively had gadolinium enhancement, that is they had active disease, and randomized those patients to placebo or Antegren, and then we studied all these patients and studied the MRI scans in blinded fashion so that the evaluators, the clinical evaluators, and also the radiologists who read the MRI scans were unaware of who was getting drug and who was getting placebo.

What did the MRIs taken of patients after they received Antegren show?

Dr. Rizzo: In the phase II trial, the primary measure that we used to determine that the Antegren worked had to do with the brain MRI scans, so we took brain MRI scans of our study patients before and after treatment with the study drug. What that demonstrated was that those patients on Antegren had a significant improvement in the MRI scans compared to those patients who received placebo.

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

END OF INTERVIEW

This information is intended for additional research purposes only. It is not to be used as a prescription or advice from Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc., or any medical professional interviewed. Ivanhoe Broadcast News, Inc., assumes no responsibility for the depth or accuracy of physician statements. Procedures or medicines apply to different people and medical factors; always consult your physician on medical matters.

If you would like more information, please contact:

Jacqueline E. Weaver
Assistant Director for Science & Medicine
Yale Office of Public Affairs
Yale University
(203) 432-8555
jacqueline.weaver@yale.edu

Related Articles in Archives:

[ Back to Neurological Disorders Channel Home ]




Hales on Glatiramer (Copaxone)
Thanks!! I'm glad to read more detail about the molecular weight being

too big to enter the milk (like Avonex!). That "Pediatric Concerns:
None via milk." is really exciting to read and the Pregnancy Risk B
makes it a better choice for women with MS during the childbearing
years. I'm passing this info along!! Thanks again!
julie

Hales on Glatiramer (Copaxone)


Entry from 2002 edition
Trade: Copaxone
Uses: Relapsing multiple sclerosis
AAP: Not reviewed

Glatiramer is a synthetic polypeptide indicated for the treatment of
relapsing, remitting multiple sclerosis. It is primarily indicated
for those who do not respond to interferons. Glatiramer is a mixture
of random polymers of four amino acids: L-alanine, L-glutamic acid,
L-lysine, and L-tyrosine. Its molecular weight ranges from 4,700 to
13,000 daltons which would reduce its ability to enter milk. It is
antigenically similar to myelin basic protein, a natural component of
the myelin sheath of neurons. No data are available on its transfer
into human milk, but it is unlikely. If ingested orally, it would be
likely to be depolymerized into individual amino acids, so toxicity is
unlikely.

Pregnancy Risk Category: B [Either animal-reproduction studies have
no demonstrated a fetal risk, but there are no controlled studies in
pregnant women or animal-reproduction studies have shown an adverse
effect (other than a decrease in fertility) that was not confirmed in
controlled studies in women in the first trimester (and there is no
evidence of a risk in later trimesters).]

Lactation Risk Category: L3 Moderately Safe (There are no controlled
studies in breastfeeding women, however the risk of untoward effects
to a breastfed infant is possible; Or, controlled studies who only
minimal non-threatening adverse effects. Drugs should be given only
if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the infant.)
Adult Concerns: Dizziness, chest pain, palpitations, anxiety,
hypertonia, sweating, nausea, weakness. Rash, hives or severe pain
where the shot is given.
Pediatric Concerns: None via milk.
Dosage: 20 mg subcutaneously once daily

References:


Treatment


Ms. Spring

MS Nurse Clinician at the Fraser Health MS Clinic in Burnaby, BC


View BIO

Q :

I would like to know, in your opinion, if there is a product or a type of oil that you would recommend to decrease or avoid irritating the skin after my daily injections of Copaxone because it seems to be one of the main side effects of taking this medication.

A :


General skin health is extremely important for anyone who injects regularly because these medications work best when taken for long periods and over time, skin issues can limit the areas available for injecting, if not addressed early. The specific type of skin irritation needs to be determined before discussing methods to treat it. Is it simply redness, swelling, itching or is there another type of skin issue present that might be unrelated to Copaxone? Before treating any skin irritation, your MS care provider should see your injection sites to recommend the best options for you.

For simple and expected injection site reactions, the easiest way to care for your skin is to make sure you are using appropriate injection areas and rotating your injection sites regularly to give each area of skin time to rest between injections. Some patients find that using the autoinjector set at the proper depth can also help with injection discomfort. Sometimes the use of a warm (not hot) compress before injecting can help as can a cold compress used after injecting. We suggest avoiding the use of alcohol swabs before injecting as this can dry the skin and predispose to further injection site reactions.

Because overall hydration of the skin is important for skin health in general, the consumption of hydrating fluids such as water and the regular use of a moisturizer appropriate for your skin is important. If these methods do not work, Benadryl topical cream can sometimes help with localized itching after injecting while a recent small study showed that witch hazel oil also had some good effect on reducing swelling and discomfort for some patients who inject. There is also a good skin care booklet available through your MS Clinics with further tips on managing simple injection concerns related to Copaxone.
8/15/2008 7:25:15 PM
More answers from Ms. Janene Spring
More answers in the category: Treatment

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that this information does not necessarily represent the opinion of the MS Society of Canada, and is not intended as medical advice. For specific advice and opinion, always consult a physician.
© 2008 Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada | www.mssociety.ca

http://www.msanswers.ca/QuestionView.aspx?L=2&QID=2037


FTY720

AIDS Patient May Offer Clues to Possible Vaccine
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by Lindsey Chapman Researchers are studying a woman who has had the AIDS virus for a decade, but shows no symptoms of being infected. ...
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Why Some Infected With HIV Remain Symptom Free Without ...
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ScienceDaily (Aug. 12, 2008) — AIDS experts at Johns Hopkins say they have compelling evidence that some people with HIV who for years and even decades show ...
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Woman's immune system may hold key to HIV vaccine
FierceBioResearcher - Washington,DC,USA
By John Carroll An investigative team at Johns Hopkins has been studying a woman whose natural immunity has quelled the virus she was infected with 10 years ...
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Epstein-Barr Virus Closely Tied to MS


This section provides recently published news relating to multiple sclerosis provided by
a third party news syndicator.
(HealthScout)
By Ed EdelsonHealthScoutNews Reporter
Mar 25, 2003
TUESDAY, March 25 (HealthScoutNews) A new study strengthens the case for a link between
infection with the Epstein-Barr virus and multiple sclerosis, researchers say.
The case is not yet proven, says Dr. Alberto Ascherio, an associate professor of epidemiology at
the Harvard School of Public Health who has worked to establish that link over the past few
years. Ascherio is the lead author of a paper on the study in the March 26 issue of the
Journal of the American Medical Association.
"We cannot say definitely, but this paper combined with the previous evidence does provide
support for a causal relationship," Ascherio says.
Epstein-Barr virus, a member of the herpesvirus family, is ubiquitous. Experts say up to 95
percent of Americans are infected with it by age 40. It has been linked to a number
of other diseases, most prominently mononucleosis, and also several cancers, such as
lymphomas.
Ascherio speculates that the multiple sclerosis (MS)-virus link is due to an underlying genetic
predisposition. In some individuals, he says, the virus somehow triggers an attack by the immune
system on myelin, the protective covering of nerve fibers, causing problems ranging from
numbness and tingling to paralysis.
The newly published study is by far the largest ever done, drawing on blood samples taken from
more than 3 million U.S. military personnel between 1988 and 2000.
Lynn I. Levin and colleagues at the Army Physical Disability Agency looked at antibodies to the
Epstein-Barr virus in 83 persons granted disability because of MS and in persons without the
disease, matched for age, sex, ethnicity and date of blood sample collection. Epstein-Barr
antibodies were consistently higher in those with MS, they report. The risk of developing MS
was 34 times higher among those with the highest levels of antibodies to Epstein-Barr, the report
says.
They also found a long time lag -- an average of four years -- between collection of the samples
and development of MS.
Epstein-Barr joins the list of infectious agents that might be related to MS, says Timothy J.
Coetzee, director of research training programs for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The
list now includes HHV6, another herpesvirus, and chlamydia, a bacterium. The measles virus
was once a suspect but has been cleared, Coetzee says.
"A causal relationship has yet to be established between any infectious agent and multiple
sclerosis," he says. "With all of these infectious agents, there is no smoking
gun."
Research should be pressed Coetzee says, because identification of an agent that causes the
disease would mean that "you could start thinking rationally about devising some treatment. If it
is a viral agent, you could think about antivirals. If it is a bacterium, you could think
about antibiotics."
Such a treatment is a distant prospect now, he says.
More information
You can learn about the Epstein-Barr virus and mononucleosis from the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. For information about MS, consult the National Multiple Sclerosis
Society.
For the latest health news and Health-Life Services like tools, calculators, and a physician
locator, go to www.HealthScout.com.
Copyright 2003 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.


McMaster University Stem Cell Cancer Research Institute

Re-creating diseases in a dish
Canada.com - Don Mills,Ontario,Canada
... heel of the disease itself," says Mick Bhatia, scientific director of the McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute at McMaster University. ...
See all stories on this topic

Stem Cells

Noble Financial Capital Markets MAD MAX Equity Conference ...
Trading Markets (press release) - Los Angeles,CA,USA
Pipex is focused on treating Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), multiple sclerosis (MS), Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and fibromyalgia. ...
See all stories on this topic

Okotoks Woman Tries China
Discover Foothills - High River,AB,Canada
Linda Boyce of Okotoks plans to go to China in October for stem cell treatments for Multiple Sclerosis. She says it's not as drastic as some experimental ...
See all stories on this topic


Stem Cell Study Raises Hope Of MS Treatment

This section provides recently published news relating to multiple sclerosis provided by a third party news syndicator.
(Sydney Morning Herald)
Michael Bradley
Jan 21, 2003


Sufferers of brain diseases such as multiple sclerosis were given fresh hope of a treatment yesterday with the announcement of a breakthrough in stem cell research that may result in many of the symptoms being eliminated.

Scientists at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney have demonstrated that adult stem cells can develop into brain cells called oligodendrocytes, which are responsible for producing myelin.

Multiple sclerosis and brain infections such as meningitis and encephalitis are characterised by myelin deficiencies.
The hospital's director of neurology and neurosciences and chief investigator, Bruce Brew, described the results as ``preliminary but convincing''.

The two-year study used 25 mice to model the effects of multiple sclerosis. Adult stem cells from mice and humans were injected into the mice, five, 10 and 20 days after being isolated from bone marrow.
Professor Brew said markers for oligodendrocytes were found in between half and three-quarters of the experiments.

Stem cells are primitive cells capable of developing into any type of cell. Recent research has shown they can be turned into oligodendrocyte progenitor cells which should develop into oligodendrocytes but the work done by Professor Brew is the first which has shown that the extra development is possible.

``We were able to show those cells ... were migrating and they had differentiated or transformed into a number of different brain cells, the most important of which were oligodendrocytes,'' he said. ``They are important because they are the very cells that produce white matter and assist with diseases such as MS.''

Professor Brew said that the next step was to determine whether the newly formed brain cells were functional and capable of producing myelin.

While he stressed it would be several years before the research could be applied to humans, he said the findings showed there was potential to at least minimise the effects of many brain diseases.

``Physical and mental deficits will be minimised. There is no guarantee that deficits will be completely able to be reversed, but there is a very good likelihood that, in the years to come, deficits as a result of white matter damage in MS sufferers will be able to be treated and reversed partly.''

He said the results, yet to be published, suggest the technique will be more beneficial to new suffers of brain disease.

The research is based on the principle that stem cells will develop in response to signals generated by brain disease. Professor Brew said the longer a person suffered from a brain disease, the weaker the signals became and the less likely that the stem cells would differentiate into the required cell.


``It seems you have to time the injections appropriately because if the signals are not being produced, or if it is not fresh damage, it does not seem to be so successful,'' he said.


``While we are still some years away from a human application, the fact that we are able to use adult stem cells in this way is extremely important in the development of effective therapies.'' Coming in 48 Hours.


Copyright of John Fairfax Group Pty Ltd

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Multiple sclerosis stem cells

REGIONAL: UC CAMPUSES AWARDED NEARLY $39 MILLION IN STEM CELL RESEARCH
CBS 5 - San Francisco,CA,USA
Stem cell research grants totaling almost $39 million were awarded Wednesday to seven University of California campuses, including Berkeley and San ...
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UC researchers receive $46 million in stem cell grants
Media Newswire (press release) - New York,NY,USA
They will pursue research aimed at developing treatments for such conditions as cancer, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis. ...
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Pill To Prevent Poison Ivy Itch Proves Elusive
NPR - USA
They'd be closer to curing other illnesses like lupus and multiple sclerosis that are linked to glitches in an overactive immune system. ...
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Mesoblast Limited Stem Cells Regrow Knee Cartilage In Severe...

Aug 12, 2008 ... Australia's regenerative medicine company, Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB)(PINK:MBLTY), announced successful preclinical trial results which ...
www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/117957.php - 60k - Similar pages

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