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Saturday, May 31, 2008
Copyright Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Inc - Excellent Answers to Great Questions
Found on the New MS Views and Related News website
Click HERE --- then scroll down to item # 25
Rely on MS Views and Related News for your one stop source of MS information
Lorenzo Odone, whose story was told in the 1992 Hollywood movie "Lorenzo's Oil", starring Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte, has died in Fairfax, VA, one day after his 30th birthday. Lorenzo was diagnosed with Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) in 1984, aged 6. Doctors told his parents that the neurological disease would swiftly deprive him of all his faculties and lead to his death withing a maximum of two years.
Odone's parents, Augusto and Michaela, despite having no scientific background, decided to research the rare genetic disorder. Their struggle and ultimate triumph, when they found an oil that stopped the disease in its tracks and, in pre-symptomatic boys, prevented the onslaught of ALD, captivated director George Miller, who went on to make 'Happy Feet' and 'The Witches of Eastwick'. He turned the true life story into a film which won Susan Sarandon an Oscar nomination as Best Actress.
(Sarandon insisted on bringing Michaela Odone with her to the Oscar ceremonies.)
The film met with criticism from the medical community, who condemned it for setting up false hopes in families of ALD sufferers. The Odones however were amply vindicated by a study published two years ago, which showed that Lorenzo's Oil did indeed stop ALD in pre-symptomatic boys.
The Odones also founded the Myelin Project, a mould-breaking medical research charity which as well as providing leadership in the search for a cure for ALD
In 1996, Phil Collins wrote the song "Lorenzo", based on lyrics written by Michaela.
Bedridden and unable to communicate from his seventh year, Lorenzo was kept at home by his parents. Nurses cared for him round the clock, as did his indefatigable parents. Lorenzo outlived his mother, who died of lung cancer in 2002. He is survived by his father, Augusto, his brother Francesco and sister and Cristina.
|For additional information on this release, please contact:|
|Source: The Myelin Project|
Friday, May 30, 2008
PHASE THREE STUDIES WILL ENROLL MORE THAN 2,200 IN TRIAL OF ORAL MS MED
Two trials of BG00012, an oral fumarate being tested for use in relapsing-remitting MS, the DEFINE study and the CONFIRM study, are now seeking participants.
The DEFINE study will compare two different doses of BG00012 to placebo in 1,011 people with MS. Enrolling at 160 US sites, it will randomly assign participants to one of three groups: those taking a low dose of BG00012 plus placebo, those taking a high dose of BG00012 a day plus placebo and those taking placebo alone.
The CONFIRM study will test effectiveness and safety of BG00012 in 1,232 people with MS by giving it in varying doses, compared to placebo and Copaxone. Enrolling in 175 U.S it will randomly assign participants to four groups: those taking a low dose of BG00012 plus placebo, those taking a high dose of BG00012 plus placebo, those taking placebo alone and those taking a standard dose of Copaxone.
For more information on enrollment sites or details on either study,
Planning already is underway for the MSF's 2009 Cruise for a Cause, an empowering seven-night tour of the Eastern Caribbean.
The educational program at sea will depart February 8, 2009, from Miami, Florida.
Traveling aboard the very accessible Freedom of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's largest ship, the Cruise for a Cause will stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.
Hundreds of people from across the country attended the most recent Cruise for a Cause, enjoying presentations on MS topics ranging from cognitive challenges to Yoga in Chairs.
This year's program, MS Center at Sea, will include MSF Medical Advisor Ben Thrower, M.D and other professionals from Atlanta's Multiple Sclerosis Institute at the Shepherd Center.
Rates range from $755 to $1140 per person, based on double occupancy. Taxes and gratuities as well as fuel and port charges are additional.
For questions about the MSF Cruise for a Cause or information about the educational program, please call the Program Development Department at 800-225-6495. To book your cabin, please call Fun Cruise and Travel, the official travel agency of the MSF Cruise for a Cause, at 888-826-9660.
See the MSF video concerning this event. After the page opens, scroll down til you find the video block.
BREATHE IN: INCENSE MAY HELP WITH ANXIETY
A research team including scientists from Johns Hopkins University have found that incensole acetate, a component of frankincense, lowered anxiety in mice. It also seemed to have anti-depressive effects, according to a new study.
Its authors speculate that while incense has traditionally been seen to have symbolic meaning, it could impact the body physically, as well. Incensole acetate activated the TRPV3 protein in the brain, but had no affect in mice bred without that protein, they said.
The study appeared inThe Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal, http://www.fasebj.org .
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Support networks and treatment choices can have a vital impact in helping patients start and stay on therapy
DENVER, May 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly all people (97 percent) with multiple sclerosis (MS) who have started treatment say their commitment to managing their disease in every way possible is their prime motivation for staying on therapy, according to a new North American survey of people with
MS, results of which were released today at the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers annual meeting in Denver. However, the survey also found that people with the disease can face significant barriers that make it
difficult for them to start or stay fully committed to an effective treatment regimen.
By LOIS BAKER
Pediatric multiple sclerosis researchers at UB are working to define and better understand previously unappreciated and uncommon types of childhood demyelinating disorders, including MS, to improve treatment approaches.
In the first comparison of children with MS with those diagnosed with conditions called monophasic demyelinating disorders, they have shown that children with MS have greater social and cognitive deficits and that the specific cognitive areas affected are similar to those found in adult MS patients.
HGS to Test Lupus Drug as MS Treatment
By Kendra Marr
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 29, 2008; Page D01
Human Genome Sciences told analysts yesterday that it was moving forward on several biotechnology drugs and that it planned to begin testing its experimental lupus drug as a treatment for multiple sclerosis.
"One of the knocks on this company is that they have not had anything make it past the goal line," said Christopher J. Raymond, a biotechnology analyst with R.W. Baird. "But they are very close with a number of exciting products."
Meeting in New York, the Rockville firm said its lupus treatment, LymphoStat-B, could be effective in treating multiple sclerosis because it inhibits a protein found in high levels in the disease's lesions. As the disease progresses, the levels of these targeted proteins also rise, contributing to the production of cells that turn against the body and attack healthy tissue.
Oral Drug From Novartis/Mitsubishi Tanabe Will Capture the Largest Market Share of All Emerging Multiple Sclerosis Therapies in 2017
Thursday May 29, 8:00 am ET
The new Pharmacor report entitled Multiple Sclerosis estimates that Novartis/Mitsubishi Tanabe's oral agent, FTY-720 (fingolimod) will capture nearly $900 million by 2017 in the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom and Japan, representing the greatest market share of any emerging multiple sclerosis therapy over the next decade. The report finds that, despite limited patient share, sales of FTY-720 will be driven by its improved efficacy, acceptable safety profile, and added convenience. The launch of nine emerging therapies-including five oral drugs-will drive moderate four percent annual growth through 2017 in the multiple sclerosis drug market. Rapid uptake of premium-priced oral drugs and the growing use of monoclonal antibodies, particularly in the United States, will spark this growth.
The report also finds that other strong contenders in the multiple sclerosis market over the next 10 years will include Merck Serono's oral cladribine (Mylinax), BioMS Medical/Eli Lilly's MBP-8298, and alemtuzumab, which is marketed in the U.S. as Campath for B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia by Bayer HealthCare and Genzyme Oncology. Oral cladribine's first-to- market status among emerging oral agents, MBP-8298's approval for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis and alemtuzumab's impressive efficacy will drive major-market peak-year sales for each drug to the range of $500 million to $1 billion.
"Oral cladribine, which will launch in 2010 and be the first emerging oral agent to market, will experience considerable initial uptake," said Bethany Kiernan, Ph.D., analyst at Decision Resources. "In contrast, while alemtuzumab's efficacy and its convenient once-yearly dosing have impressed interviewed experts, possible safety risks could limit its uptake. Additionally, MBP-8298, which will be approved for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, will provide a much-needed therapeutic option for this niche population."
About Decision Resources
Decision Resources (www.decisionresources.com) is a world leader in market research publications, advisory services, and consulting designed to help clients shape strategy, allocate resources, and master their chosen markets.
All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.
For more information, contact:
Decision Resources, Inc.
Source: Decision Resources
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Could multiple sclerosis patients be spared the needle?
A team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem thinks it's possible. The team, headed by Prof. Elka Touitou, has developed a way to transmit medications to the brain through the nose. This breakthrough could change the way drugs to treat MS, an incurable disease, are administered, addressing a potential market worth $6 billion a year. The team, including doctoral student Shaher Duchi and Prof. Haim Ovadia, will be presenting their nasal drug delivery method at the Biomed Israel Conference 2008 this week. Touitou says the carrier they developed contains particles mere hundreds of nanometers in size that are found in biological membranes. These particles open a path for the drug to penetrate the nasal mucous membranes, whence they reach the brain.
» Read More
Question: What causes fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis?
Fatigue is considered by many to be the worst part of multiple sclerosis, affecting 85 to 95% of those with MS. Indeed, on "bad days" it is unimaginably difficult to even meet one's basic needs, due to overwhelming tiredness that makes everything more difficult. As it turns out, MS-related fatigue is usually the product of several factors working together.Answer: Fatigue in MS is caused by many factors, which can be grouped into those causing primary fatigue and secondary fatigue.
» Read More
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Department of Neurology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.
New insights into the complex immunopathogenesis of multiple sclerosis have led to a proliferation of promising new therapeutic strategies. While the current armamentarium of immunomodulatory medications has demonstrated beneficial effects on the disease, more effective and tolerable therapies are needed. Several novel therapeutic strategies under investigation include oral therapies, monoclonal antibodies, symptomatic treatments, insights into neuroprotection and repair as well as combination regimens.
New therapies may prove more efficacious and tolerable than the available arsenal of treatments; however, decisions regarding first-line therapies will expectedly become more complicated, with greater influence if risk-to-benefit ratios in light of premature safety data. Biomarker profiles may help elucidate disease subtypes as well as therapeutic response in an effort to individualize treatment choice.
This review will highlight recent promising therapeutic strategies under investigation in the field of MS. Mt Sinai J Med 75: 157-167, 2008 (c) 2008 Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
Antel JP, Miron VE.
Neuroimmunology Unit, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2B4.
OBJECTIVE: To review the direct and indirect effects on the central nervous system (CNS) of systemically administered immuno-modulatory therapies in use or under evaluation for the relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).
METHODS: We summarize data published by our own lab and by others that delineate the effects of such therapies on in vitro neural cell cultures and in animal model-based systems.
RESULTS: The long-approved therapies, interferon beta (IFNbeta) and glatiramer acetate (GA), do not readily access the CNS. These agents can still indirectly have an effect on disease-related immune regulatory and effector functions within the CNS by modulating the properties of systemic immune cells that migrate to this compartment. Such immune cells could interact with perivascular and innate immune cells that are involved in immune regulation and with cells that are either targets of the disease process (oligodendrocytes, neurons) and/or are involved with repair (progenitor cells). Newer agents reported to favorably impact on relapse frequency in MS include the sphingosine-1-phosphate agonist, fingolimod, and the lipophilic statin, simvastatin. Both agents access the CNS and thus represent examples of agents that could directly impact on disease-relevant injury and repair process within the CNS.
CONCLUSIONS: The observations reviewed in this report regarding indirect and direct effects of immuno-modulatory agents on the CNS indicate the need to understand and monitor the neurobiologic effects of such therapies.
Myelin proteolipid protein: An effective autoantigen and target of autoimmunity in multiple sclerosis
Greer JM, Pender MP.
Neuroimmunology Research Unit, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia.
Myelin proteolipid protein (PLP) is the most abundant protein in central nervous system (CNS) myelin and plays a major role in maintaining the structural and functional integrity of myelin. Its abundance in, and restriction to, CNS myelin and its post-translational modification by acylation make PLP an effective autoantigen, which can induce experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in rodents and non-human primates and which is a target of pathogenic autoimmunity in people with multiple sclerosis, a chronic inflammatory demyelinating CNS disease.
Balo's disease showing benign clinical course and co-existence with multiple sclerosis-like lesions in Chinese.
Chaodong Wang , Zhang KN, Wu XM, Gang Huang , Xie XF, Qu XH, Xiong YQ.
Department of Neurology, Jiangxi Provincial People's Hospital, Nanchang 330006, P. R. China.
Baló's concentric sclerosis (BCS) is a rare demyelinating disorder usually considered a variant of multiple sclerosis (MS). However, its pathogenesis and its correlation with MS remains unclear and controversial. This report presents seven Hans Chinese subjects diagnosed as BCS on the basis of the pathognomonic MR (magnetic resonance) findings. Upon diagnosis, all the cases displayed good responses to corticosteroids and showed an overall benign prognosis during a follow-up period of 4-13.5 years, although three relapsed later. MR findings suggest that the characteristic concentric lesions of BCS frequently (5/7) coexist with multiple sclerosis-like lesions. During follow-up, the Baló-like lesions may either dissolve over time or transform into an MS-like lesion. Moreover, the Balóand MS-like lesions occurred one after another at the onset and relapse phases of the same patient in two cases. These clinical features suggest that Baló's disease showing benign clinical course and co-existence of multiple sclerosis (MS)-like lesion is not rare among the Chinese, and strengthens the notion that BCS correlates intrinsically with MS. Multiple Sclerosis 2008; 14: 418-424. http://msj.sagepub.com.
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Monday, May 26, 2008
Extavia, an interferon beta-1b, was approved for use in patients with early and relapsing forms of MS,
By Eva von Schaper and Dermot Doherty
Extavia, an interferon beta-1b, was approved for use in patients with early and relapsing forms of MS, Basel, Switzerland-based Novartis said today. Betaseron, also known as Betaferon, was first approved in Europe in 1996.
Novartis, Switzerland's second-biggest drugmaker, plans to start selling the injected treatment in the first half of 2009, giving it a foothold in the multiple sclerosis market before the planned introduction of its experimental drug fingolimod. Fingolimod, which could be the first oral MS disease medicine, may generate more than $1 billion in annual sales, analysts say.
Approval of Extavia ``is fundamentally positive because Novartis can now prepare and build up to the launch of their own product,'' Andrew Weiss, an analyst at Bank Vontobel in Zurich, said in an interview.
Weiss forecasts peak sales of $340 million annually for Extavia. Novartis' best-selling drug, the Diovan high-blood pressure treatment, had sales of more than $5 billion last year. The company is looking for new treatments to help it weather the loss of patent protection on Diovan and the Gleevec cancer medicine in the next few years.
Betaseron generated 1.03 billion euros ($1.62 billion) in global sales last year, about 3 percent of Bayer's total revenue of 32.4 billion euros.
Novartis fell 80 centimes, or 1.5 percent, to 53.45 Swiss francs at the close of Zurich trading. Bayer shares declined 18 cents, or 0.3 percent, to 54.52 euros in Frankfurt.
The introduction of Extavia ``was expected and we've had to reckon with it,'' Carsten Kunold, an analyst who follows Bayer at Merck Finck in Munich, said in an interview.
Novartis gained rights to Extavia through its acquisition of Chiron Corp. in 2005 and in agreement with Bayer, which gained Betaseron with the 2006 purchase of Schering AG. Bayer last year agreed to pay Novartis, which makes Betaseron under contract, $110 million for a California plant and another $90 million for inventories of the drug.
Betaseron competes with Biogen Idec Inc.'s Avonex, Merck Serono SA's Rebif, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.'s Copaxone and Elan Corp. and Biogen's Tysabri for share of the MS market.