SARATOGA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF) announced today that its research might soon lead into a clinical proof-of-concept trial at the Department of Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis Research (nims), University Hospital Zürich, Switzerland, and the Institute for Neuroimmunology and Clinical Multiple Sclerosis Research (inims) in Hamburg, Germany. This clinical trial will determine the safety and efficacy of a potential therapeutic pathway to desensitize the immune system to myelin in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, based on research conducted by MRF Investigator Dr. Stephen D. Miller from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Such proof-of-concept clinical trial will be headed by Dr. Roland Martin, head of the Dept. of Neuroimmunology and MS Research in Zürich. Phase 1 is already underway.
“The Myelin Repair Foundation has established a solid scientific foundation to initiate this clinical trial that examines a potential targeted treatment pathway for MS patients, the first of its kind,” said Dr. Roland Martin, head of the Dept. of Neuroimmunology and MS Research in Zürich and former director of inims. “I am excited to lead MRF research into this clinical trial, which will examine the potential of a treatment specifically targeted to re-establish tolerance of myelin during the earliest stages of MS.”
“I am thrilled that the scientific discoveries from my lab could impact MS patients all over the world,” said MRF Investigator Dr. Stephen D. Miller, professor in microbiology-immunology at Northwestern’s Feinberg School. “The Myelin Repair Foundation’s support and unique research approach which facilitates collaboration with other leading neuroscientists supported by the MRF has sped up the research process to where we are today, moving an MS therapeutic closer to the patient with this clinical trial.”
By inducing immune tolerance to myelin, a hospitable environment for myelin repair in MS patients is facilitated through two primary mechanisms: halting immune-mediated damage thus protecting myelin and minimizing the risk of infection, a frequent side effect of current MS therapeutics. This clinical trial will examine an antigen-specific MS therapy, a superior alternative to the non-discriminating immunosuppressive treatment regimen used currently for MS.
“We are proud to be working with Dr. Roland Martin at the helm advancing this clinical trial,” said Scott Johnson, president of the Myelin Repair Foundation. “By supporting Dr. Stephen Miller’s scientific discoveries, MRF moves closer to halting the progression of the myelin degeneration of this disease, with possible broader implications for patients of all autoimmune diseases.”
About the University Hospital Zurich, Department of Neuroimmunology and Multiple Sclerosis Research
The Department of Neuroimmunology and MS Research (nims) at the Neurology Clinic and the University Hospital Zürich focuses on basic disease mechanisms of MS, biomarkers and disease heterogeneity, and develops novel treatments for all stages and forms of MS. It collaborates with inims, Hamburg, where similar objectives are pursued.
About the University Medical Center Hamburg Eppendorf, Institute for Neuroimmunology and Clinical MS Research
The Institute for Neuroimmunology and Clinical MS Research (inims) at the Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) integrates a basic science institute with a MS MRI unit and a dedicated outpatient clinic and day hospital that regularly provides all levels of care for approximately 1200 patients. Inims has had greater 3000 patient contacts last year, and besides basic and clinical research, a particular focus is directed at developing novel therapies for MS.
About the Myelin Repair Foundation
The Myelin Repair Foundation (MRF) (http://www.myelinrepair.org) is a Silicon Valley-based, non-profit research organization focused on accelerating the discovery and development of myelin repair therapeutics for multiple sclerosis. Its Accelerated Research Collaboration™ (ARC™) model is designed to optimize the entire process of medical research, drug development and the delivery of patient treatments.