New Zealand-based Innate Immunotherapeutics has been in the news as of late, making headlines about the drug developer’s innovative R&D into testing and developing a viable treatment option for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. Most recently, new reports of the company’s lead experimental drug for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, MIS416, has revealed promising results in studies led by researchers at Victoria University of Wellington.
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The study, which was conducted at Victoria and published online in PLOS ONE, revealed that Innate Immunotherapeutics’ MIS416, developed originally to treat the relapsing-remitting form of MS, has been shown to help patients with secondary progressive MS as well. The team of researchers, which includes Dr. Anne La Flamme, Associate Professor in Victoria’s School of Biological Sciences and head of the MS Research Programme at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, Dr. Gill Webster from Innate Immunotherapeutics, and PhD student Madeleine White, admit that while their study proved that the drug is indeed efficacious in the treatment of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, the team still does not fully understand what makes the therapy effective.
“We know this drug works, but we are not sure why,” Dr La Flamme said. “This study has helped us understand the pathways that are driving the disease and how the medication alters the immune system, giving us a better idea of why MIS416 works as well as insight into how to treat patients and predict who will do better on this sort of medication.”
Dr. La Flamme went on to explain that the majority of cutting-edge research into the treatment of MS is focused on T-cells. However, the new Victoria study reveals that targeting other cells in the central nervous system can significantly reduce advanced forms of MS, such as secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.