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CHAMPIONS TACKLING MS - AWARDS Dinner, Honoring Aaron Boster, MD and Jon e. Glaser, DDS - now open for registration. Visit www.events.msvn.org

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Merck KGaA shores up Rebif defenses to fend off new MS rivals

March 6, 2014 | By 

Merck KGaA's multiple sclerosis treatment Rebif is holding its own. Considering that the German drugmaker's flagship product faces some formidable new competitors--including Biogen Idec's ($BIIB) brand-new powerhouse, Tecfidera--that's not too shabby.

The drug brought in €1.86 billion last year, or about $2.56 billion, a decline of 1.5%, despite what Merck calls "severe competitive pressure" in the U.S. Tecfidera launched last spring, and joining Novartis' ($NVSGilenya and Sanofi's ($SNYAubagio in the oral MS market. Rebif is an injected treatment, and like other MS injectables, faces bleed-off from patients defecting to the easier-to-take pills.

Merck expects the scuffle for sales to intensify this year, and it's building up its battlements, particularly in the EU. "Several new competitors to our product Rebif are expected to enter the market (in Europe)," the company says in its annual report. "Strategies for defending market share have been launched."



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Soft-Wheeled, shock absorbing Wheelchair - New Invention Gives Disabled a Smooth Ride, Down Stairs


Stairs posed a major barrier for disabled people in wheelchairs. A new Israeli technology is changing the rules of the game. bomber survives his attempted terrorist attack and arrives at a hospital next to his victims. In any other country, this script may seem to be totally fictional, however, in Israel; this cinematic concept is based on reality.
Mar 08, 2014, | Linda Lovitch


Until now, stairs posed a major barrier for disabled people in wheelchairs. A new Israeli technology is changing the rules of the game.  Daniel Barel, the CEO explains, “Softwheel gives the freedom to get off the pavement , road, or staircase without using a ramp." The technology absorbs the shock when the wheelchair is lowered from one level to another.

Watch a video of this new technology and read more by clicking here: http://www.jerusalemonline.com/culture-and-lifestyle/new-invention-gives-disabled-a-smooth-ride-down-stairs-4125



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Friday, March 7, 2014

ENDECE Neural to Present Updated Data at ASN Annual Meeting Showing NDC-1308 Induces Remyelination in Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Mequon, Wisc., March 7, 2014 –  Scientists from ENDECE Neural announced today that new pre-clinical evidence that the company’s lead compound, NDC-1308, induces remyelination in experimental models of MS will be presented at the 45th annual meeting of the American Society for Neurochemistry (ASN) in Long Beach, Calif.

Title: “NDC-1308 Therapy for Inducing Remyelination in Multiple Sclerosis Patients”
Date: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Poster #: PS10.12
Abstract #: 10089
Authors: Steven H. Nye, Ph.D, and James G. Yarger, Ph.D.
Location: Long Beach Convention Center, Promenade Level 2, Grand Ballroom
Poster viewing time: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Author presentation: 5:30pm – 7:00pm

ENDECE Neural recently published data showing that NDC-1308 induces a dramatic upregulation of genes in signaling pathways involved in myelin sheath production. Here, Dr. Nye will present new data from studies in mice showing that NDC-1308 demonstrates:

·         Significant remyelination in both the hippocampal and cortical brain regions using a mouse model of demyelination, in which the neurotoxicant cuprizone was used to remove the myelin sheath from the axons (nerve fibers) of mice
·         Rapid absorption into target tissues of the central nervous system (CNS)
·         A favorable safety profile

Additionally, the company has laid out a proposed timeline to the clinic for NDC-1308, including plans to initiate Phase 1 clinical trials in 2015.

About NDC-1308
NDC-1308 is a novel chemical entity designed to address one of the root causes of MS, and is being developed for potential use either alone or in combination with other MS therapeutics that slow the progression of the disease. By controlling key genes in pathways leading to myelin synthesis, NDC-1308 appears to induce restoration of the lost myelin sheath that is believed to cause the devastating symptoms of MS. NDC-1308 is a small molecule that readily crosses the blood-brain barrier, allowing it to reach the tissues in the brain and spinal cord where promoting myelin production is needed. NDC-1308 works by inducing differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) into mature oligodendrocytes, cells that synthesize and maintain the myelin sheath. ENDECE Neural discovered NDC-1308, and owns the intellectual property surrounding the compound.

About ENDECE Neural
ENDECE Neural is a private biotechnology company at the forefront of developing therapies to repair and potentially reverse damage caused by devastating neurological diseases such as MS. A wholly owned subsidiary of ENDECE LLC, ENDECE Neural was founded in 2011 to focus on the development of what could be the first drug capable of inducing remyelination of damaged nerves in patients with MS. The company is leveraging decades of accumulated knowledge about how activation of estrogen receptors in a specific manner affects gene regulation. Researchers at ENDECE Neural have identified small-molecule compounds that upregulate key genes in pathways involved in promoting myelin sheath synthesis. ENDECE Neural is developing NDC-1308, which appears to directly induce OPCs to differentiate into mature oligodendrocytes that restore the depleted myelin sheath in rodent models.  ENDECE Neural discovered and owns the intellectual property surrounding its compounds, and the company’s management team has a track record of successfully taking products from the laboratory through FDA approval and commercial release.


Tara DiMilia
Office: 908-369-7168
Mobile: 908-884-7024


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MS Atrium Website

Genzyme, a Sanofi Company has a very useful and informative website known as MS ATRIUM  

The MS ATRIUM website has added MS Views and News to their resources page. To see this page and to use the MS Atrium website visit: 

http://msatrium.com/patient-resources/additional-resources 



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Sunday, March 2, 2014

9 MS Myths, Busted


Feeling the MS blues? Banish that bad mood with these treatment tactics.

Medically reviewed by Niya Jones, MD, MPH
ms decline
multiple sclerosis myth
So many misconceptions about multiple sclerosis exist that it can sometimes be hard to distinguish fact from fiction. Although many MS myths have been disproved, people still hold on to the misperceptions, said Carrie Lyn Sammarco, DNP, a nurse practitioner at the Multiple Sclerosis Comprehensive Care Center at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. It's time to bust the common MS myths and learn some surprising facts about the 

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Remyelination of cortical lesions may not always repair

Feb 27, 2014


Rodriguez EG, Wegner C, Kreutzfeldt M, Neid K, Thal DR, Jürgens T, Brück W, Stadelmann C, Merkler D. Oligodendroglia in cortical multiple sclerosis lesions decrease with disease progression, but regenerate after repeated experimental demyelination. Acta Neuropathol. 2014 Feb 25. [Epub ahead of print]

Cerebral cortex shows a high endogenous propensity for remyelination. Yet, widespread subpial cortical demyelination (SCD) is a common feature in progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) and can already be found in early MS. In the present study, we compared oligodendroglial loss in SCD in early and chronic MS. Furthermore, we addressed in an experimental model whether repeated episodes of inflammatory SCD could alter oligodendroglial repopulation and subsequently lead to persistently demyelinated cortical lesions. NogoA+ mature oligodendrocytes and Olig2+ oligodendrocyte precursor cells were examined in SCD in patients with early and chronic MS, normal-appearing MS cortex, and control cortex as well as in the rat model of repeated targeted cortical experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). NogoA+ and Olig2+ cells were significantly reduced in SCD in patients with chronic, but not early MS. Repeated induction of SCD in rats resulted only in a transient loss of NogoA+, but not Olig2+ cells during the demyelination phase. This phase was followed by complete oligodendroglial repopulation and remyelination, even after four episodes of demyelination. Our data indicate efficient oligodendroglial repopulation in subpial cortical lesions in rats after repeated SCD that was similar to early, but not chronic MS cases. Accordingly, four cycles of experimental de- and remyelination were not sufficient to induce sustained remyelination failure as found in chronic cortical MS lesions. This suggests that alternative mechanisms contribute to oligodendrocyte depletion in chronic cortical demyelination in MS.


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Lemtrada Update: First-of-Its-Kind Treatment for Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Now Available in Canada

NEW MS Option available now for Canadians with Multiple Sclerosis


Canada NewsWire
MISSISSAUGA, ONFeb. 27, 2014 /CNW/ - Genzyme, a Sanofi company, today announced the Canadian availability of Pr LEMTRADA™ (alemtuzumab) for the management of adult patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), with active disease defined by clinical and imaging features, who have had an inadequate response to interferon beta or other disease-modifying therapies.

LEMTRADA 12 mg has a dosing and administration schedule of two annual treatment courses. The first treatment course of LEMTRADA is administered via intravenous infusion on five consecutive days, and the second course is administered on three consecutive days, 12 months later. LEMTRADA patients require monitoring at regular intervals between treatment courses and for 48 months following the final infusion.

During an extensive, ongoing clinical development program, 80 per cent of RRMS patients who received two treatment courses of LEMTRADA required no further therapy1 and 55 per cent remained relapse-free through the first year of the extension study. Unlike other current disease modifying therapies (DMTs) in which stopping treatment usually results in resumed disease activity, LEMTRADA continues to have a durable effect far beyond the two annual treatment courses. In fact, in more than 70 per cent of clinical trial patients, disability scores improved or remained stable over three years.1

"The approval of LEMTRADA represents an important new treatment option for Canadians living with MS. In clinical trials, LEMTRADA demonstrated impressive effectiveness following two treatment courses for patients with active relapsing MS," said Dr. Anthony Traboulsee, Associate Professor of Neurology and Medical Director of the UBC Hospital MS Clinic of Vancouver Coastal Health. "Our own experience in treating 35 patients through clinical trials with LEMTRADA has been extremely positive."

LEMTRADA was approved by Health Canada in December 2013. The approval was based on data from the LEMTRADA clinical development program comparing treatment of LEMTRADA to high-dose subcutaneous interferon beta-1a (Rebif®) - which is dosed three times per week - in patients with RRMS who had active disease. In a controlled Phase 3 clinical study, LEMTRADA was more effective compared to Rebif at reducing both the annualized relapse rates (ARR) and the accumulation of disability was significantly slowed in patients given LEMTRADA vs. Rebif.2

In clinical trials, LEMTRADA demonstrated an ARR reduction of 49.4 per cent when compared with Rebif (p<0.0001), and the proportion of relapse-free patients was significantly (p<0.0001) higher in LEMTRADA patients than Rebif (65.4 per cent and 46.7 per cent, respectively). In addition, the risk of sustained accumulation of disability (SAD) over six months was reduced by 42 per cent in patients who received LEMTRADA versus Rebif (p=0.0084).2

"The approval and availability of LEMTRADA represents an important advancement for the MS community," said Dr. Karen Lee, Vice-President, Research, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. "The more treatment options that are available, the more choices Canadians living with MS have to potentially improve their overall quality of life."

In November 2013, Genzyme's AUBAGIO® (teriflunomide) 14 mg was approved by Health Canada as monotherapy for the treatment of patients with RRMS to reduce the frequency of clinical exacerbations and to delay the accumulation of physical disability. The approval was based on efficacy data from two Phase III clinical trials - TEMSO (TEriflunomide Multiple Sclerosis Oral) and TOWER (Teriflunomide Oral in people With relapsing remitting multiplE scleRosis). In the TEMSO trial, AUBAGIO 14 mg significantly reduced the annualized relapse rate (p=0.0005) and the time to disability progression (p=0.0279) at two years versus placebo in patients with RRMS. In the TOWER trial, AUBAGIO 14 mg significantly reduced the annualized relapse rate (p=0.0001) and the time to disability progression sustained for 12 weeks (p=0.0442) was statistically significantly reduced versus placebo in patients with RRMS.

"The Canadian approval and availability of LEMTRADA and AUBAGIO represent an important milestone for Genzyme and demonstrate our focus on scientific innovation and commitment to MS patients," said Peter Brenders, General Manager, Genzyme Canada. "We are proud of our commitment to long-term leadership and partnership with the MS community."

LEMTRADA is supported by a comprehensive and extensive clinical development program that involved 1,188 patients, resulting in 2,363 patient-years of safety follow-up.
A New Standard in Patient Support


Complete story found here: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1762094#ixzz2upmX4zaY


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