Multiple Sclerosis is one of the most severe diseases in the neurodegenartive autoimmune family. Protective myelin sheath surrounding nerve fibers becomes damaged which leads to a gradual loss of nervous system functions that are associated with physical and psycho-emotional states.
The Multiple Sclerosis Foundation estimates that more than 400,000 people in the United States and about 2.5 million people around the world have MS.
Some good news in treating the disease has surfaced as a team of scientists has created a new form of a vaccine used to treat it. The drug has already successfully passed pre-clinical trials and two clinical stages. If the results of the third stage are positive, the drug will be approved for the treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis.
The vaccine’s main component are liposomes which contain fragments of myelin protein, which insulates nerve fibers in the body. In their experiment, three protein fragments were selected, one of which has a therapeutic effect in the early stages of the disease. The other two are used to prevent the development of pathologies during the remission stage. In the laboratory, it was found that the most effective option is the co-administration of all three fragments inside mannosylated liposomes.
All the results are published in the Neurotherapeutics journal.
“Many laboratories around the world are working toward effective solutions for the treatment and therapy of multiple sclerosis,” says Alexey Belogurov, Ph.D. in Chemistry, one of the authors of the article. “Despite the prevalence of the disease, there is no ideal drug for its treatment, and most existing drugs cause side effects. In Russia, the absolute majority of the drugs are purchased abroad using budget funds. For example, one of the most popular drugs costs over 3 billion rubles annually. It is obvious that, in order to solve social and economic problems, it is necessary to create high-quality domestic medications, and this is what we are now doing.”
“The vaccines developed were tested in a series of clinical trials on healthy volunteers and patients suffering from multiple sclerosis. These trials were conducted at five national centers in Russia. We discovered that the drug is well tolerated, and has a very low probability of developing adverse events,” says Alexey.
The results of the final phase of the clinical trials would allow the new drug to enter into clinical practice for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.