Saturday, October 22, 2011

News from ECTRIMS 2011

One of the biggest annual events for information sharing in the world of multiple sclerosis research and treatment is the ECTRIMS meeting going on now in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

It fills me full of excitement and hope for the future of MS patients the world over!

Here is a video from my former neurologist and lead investigator who recruited me into the TRANSFORMS clinical trial for Fingolimod (Gilenya). He is attending the ECTRIMS 2011 Conference.

You can also find posts on Facebook by Dr. Kantor here:
Multiple Sclerosis Migraine (Daniel Kantor)
Follow him on twitter.

Here are just a few links to news coming out of ECTRIMS this year:

 Advances in Using Stem Cells as a Treatment for MS
by Julie Stachowiak, PhD
The most progress in looking at the effect of stem cells in humans with MS (as opposed to experimental mice models) has been made on hematopoietic stem cells. This research was presented by Mark Freedman, MD from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute at ECTRIMS 2011.

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) are taken from adult bone marrow and blood. They can also come from umbilical cord blood. They are multipotent, meaning they can turn into only a small number of different cell types. HSC are quite rare, making up less than .1% of bone marrow cells. These cells act as the foundation for the immune response.
[Click here to read the entire blog post.]

Acorda Therapeutics Announces Data on AMPYRA® Presented at 5th Joint Triennial Congress of ECTRIMS and ACTRIMS
“Analysis of walking speed data from the extension studies showed that people who responded to AMPYRA had sustained improvement compared to non-responders for up to five years on treatment. Just as importantly, safety data from the extension studies and from one year of real-world use showed that the long-term safety profile of AMPYRA was consistent with that observed in clinical trials, with no new safety signals emerging.” --  Ron Cohen, M.D., Acorda’s president and CEO.
Read more:

BG-12 Data Impress in Multiple Sclerosis

October 21, 2011 (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) — A phase 3 study of oral BG-12 (dimethyl fumarate, Biogen Idec) in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) found that the drug reduced by roughly half the proportion of patients who relapsed at 2 years compared with placebo.
The findings, from the Determination of the Efficacy and safety of oral Fumarate IN rElapsing-remitting MS (DEFINE) trial were released today here at the 5th Joint Triennial Congress of the European and Americas Committees for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS/ACTRIMS). The study was supported by Biogen Idec.
"We conclude that these results may provide a therapeutic option for patients with relapsing MS, with robust efficacy, a good tolerability, and excellent safety profile for this oral drug," study presenter Ralf Gold, MD, professor and chair, Department of Neurology, St. Josef-Hospital/Ruhr-University, Bochum, Germany, told attendees here.
Ocrelizumab Benefits in MS Maintained to 96 Weeks
There is increasing evidence that B-cells play a role in the pathogenesis of MS through antibody-dependent and antibody-independent mechanisms, the authors note. Rituximab, an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody that selectively reduces CD20-positive B-cells, showed "proof of concept" efficacy in MS in phase 1 and 2 investigations, they say. Ocrelizumab is a recombinant humanized version of rituximab meant to provide some advantages in potency, tolerability, and safety for the long term.[Click here to read entire article]

Late-breaking presentation of BRAVO results and additional analyses from ALLEGRO study reinforce novel clinical profile of laquinimod

Pre-clinical evidence supports that laquinimod targets peripheral inflammation and keyneurodegenerative processes occurring directly in the CNS
[Click here to read entire article]

Leading Organisations Launch New Coalition to Address the Needs of People with Multiple Sclerosis in the Workplace
Today, business and health leaders join forces to announce the formation of the ms&work coalition, the first group of its kind to address the needs of people living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in the workplace across Europe.

The coalition, an alliance of Merck Serono; a leading healthcare company, Microsoft Corp, Employers’ Forum on Disability (EFD) and the European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA) was announced at the 5th Joint Triennial Congress of ECTRIMS and ACTRIMS, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.[Click here to read entire article]

Extension Phase Data on Oral Teriflunomide for MS Released
October 21, 2011 (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) — The benefits of oral teriflunomide on clinical and magnetic resonance imaging endpoints in the pivotal phase 3 Teriflunomide MS Oral (TEMSO) study were maintained in the extension study, 5 years after randomization.
[Click here to read entire article]

These links represent just a fraction of the news coming out of ECTRIMS 2011. It's really refreshing and exciting to see so much research being done -- and with so many positive results! I would have loved to have been in attendance there and gotten to hear all the news first hand. I've been to Amsterdam once and it was beautiful!

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