Breaking News
May 3, 2019 - Vaping and Smoking May Signal Greater Motivation to Quit
May 3, 2019 - Dementia looks different in brains of Hispanics
May 3, 2019 - Short-Staffed Nursing Homes See Drop In Medicare Ratings
May 3, 2019 - Study of teens with eating disorders explores how substance users differ from non-substance users
May 3, 2019 - Scientists develop new video game that may help in the study of Alzheimer’s
May 3, 2019 - Arc Bio introduces Galileo Pathogen Solution product line at ASM Clinical Virology Symposium
May 3, 2019 - Cornell University study uncovers relationship between starch digestion gene and gut bacteria
May 3, 2019 - How to Safely Use Glucose Meters and Test Strips for Diabetes
May 3, 2019 - Anti-inflammatory drugs ineffective for prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
May 3, 2019 - Study tracks Pennsylvania’s oil and gas waste-disposal practices
May 3, 2019 - Creating a better radiation diagnostic test for astronauts
May 3, 2019 - Vegans are often deficient in these four nutrients
May 3, 2019 - PPDC announces seed grants to develop medical devices for children
May 3, 2019 - Study maps out the frequency and impact of water polo head injuries
May 3, 2019 - Research on Reddit identifies risks associated with unproven treatments for opioid addiction
May 3, 2019 - Good smells may help ease tobacco cravings
May 3, 2019 - Medical financial hardship found to be very common among people in the United States
May 3, 2019 - Researchers develop multimodal system for personalized post-stroke rehabilitation
May 3, 2019 - Study shows significant mortality benefit with CABG over percutaneous coronary intervention
May 3, 2019 - Will gene-editing of human embryos ever be justifiable?
May 3, 2019 - FDA Approves Dengvaxia (dengue vaccine) for the Prevention of Dengue Disease in Endemic Regions
May 3, 2019 - Why Tonsillitis Keeps Coming Back
May 3, 2019 - Fighting the opioid epidemic with data
May 3, 2019 - Maggot sausages may soon be a reality
May 3, 2019 - Deletion of ATDC gene prevents development of pancreatic cancer in mice
May 2, 2019 - Targeted Therapy Promising for Rare Hematologic Cancer
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease is a ‘double-prion disorder,’ study shows
May 2, 2019 - Reservoir bugs: How one bacterial menace makes its home in the human stomach
May 2, 2019 - Clinical, Admin Staff From Cardiology Get Sneak Peek at Epic
May 2, 2019 - Depression increases hospital use and mortality in children
May 2, 2019 - Vicon and NOC support CURE International to create first gait lab in Ethiopia
May 2, 2019 - Researchers use 3D printer to make paper organs
May 2, 2019 - Viral infection in utero associated with behavioral abnormalities in offspring
May 2, 2019 - U.S. Teen Opioid Deaths Soaring
May 2, 2019 - Opioid distribution data should be public
May 2, 2019 - In the Spotlight: “I’m learning every single day”
May 2, 2019 - 2019 Schaefer Scholars Announced
May 2, 2019 - Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health?’ Bye-Bye, ACA, And Hello ‘Medicare-For-All’?
May 2, 2019 - Study describes new viral molecular evasion mechanism used by cytomegalovirus
May 2, 2019 - SLU study suggests a more equitable way for Medicare reimbursement
May 2, 2019 - Scientists discover first gene involved in lower urinary tract obstruction
May 2, 2019 - Researchers identify 34 genes associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer
May 2, 2019 - Many low-income infants receive formula in the first few days of life, finds study
May 2, 2019 - Global study finds high success rate for hip and knee replacements
May 2, 2019 - Taking depression seriously: What is it?
May 2, 2019 - With Head Injuries Mounting, Will Cities Put Their Feet Down On E-Scooters?
May 2, 2019 - Scientists develop small fluorophores for tracking metabolites in living cells
May 2, 2019 - Study casts new light into how mothers’ and babies’ genes influence birth weight
May 2, 2019 - Researchers uncover new brain mechanisms regulating body weight
May 2, 2019 - Organ-on-chip systems offered to Asia-Pacific regions by Sydney’s AXT
May 2, 2019 - Adoption of new rules drops readmission penalties against safety net hospitals
May 2, 2019 - Kids and teens who consume zero-calorie sweetened beverages do not save calories
May 2, 2019 - Improved procedure for cancer-related erectile dysfunction
May 2, 2019 - Hormone may improve social behavior in autism
May 2, 2019 - Alzheimer’s disease may be caused by infectious proteins called prions
May 2, 2019 - Even Doctors Can’t Navigate Our ‘Broken Health Care System’
May 2, 2019 - Study looks at the impact on criminal persistence of head injuries
May 2, 2019 - Honey ‘as high in sugars as table sugar’
May 2, 2019 - Innovations to U.S. food system could help consumers in choosing healthy foods
May 2, 2019 - FDA Approves Mavyret (glecaprevir and pibrentasvir) as First Treatment for All Genotypes of Hepatitis C in Pediatric Patients
May 2, 2019 - Women underreport prevalence and intensity of their own snoring
May 2, 2019 - Concussion summit focuses on science behind brain injury
May 2, 2019 - Booker’s Argument For Environmental Justice Stays Within The Lines
May 2, 2019 - Cornell research explains increased metastatic cancer risk in diabetics
May 2, 2019 - Mount Sinai study provides fresh insights into cellular pathways that cause cancer
May 2, 2019 - Researchers to study link between prenatal pesticide exposures and childhood ADHD
May 2, 2019 - CoGEN Congress 2019: Speakers’ overviews
May 2, 2019 - A new strategy for managing diabetic macular edema in people with good vision
May 2, 2019 - Sagent Pharmaceuticals Issues Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Ketorolac Tromethamine Injection, USP, 60mg/2mL (30mg per mL) Due to Lack of Sterility Assurance
May 2, 2019 - Screen time associated with behavioral problems in preschoolers
May 2, 2019 - Hormone reduces social impairment in kids with autism | News Center
May 2, 2019 - Researchers synthesize peroxidase-mimicking nanozyme with low cost and superior catalytic activity
May 2, 2019 - Study results of a potential drug to treat Type 2 diabetes in children announced
May 2, 2019 - Multigene test helps doctors to make effective treatment decisions for breast cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - UNC School of Medicine initiative providing unique care to dementia patients
May 2, 2019 - Nestlé Health Science and VHP join forces to launch innovative COPES program for cancer patients
May 2, 2019 - Study examines how our brain generates consciousness and loses it during anesthesia
May 2, 2019 - Transition Support Program May Aid Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes
May 2, 2019 - Study shows how neutrophils exacerbate atherosclerosis by inducing smooth muscle-cell death
May 2, 2019 - Research reveals complexity of how we make decisions
New Drug Shows Promise for Progressive Form of MS

New Drug Shows Promise for Progressive Form of MS

Source: Getty Images

In a phase 2 clinical trial, an investigational anti-inflammatory drug called ibudilast was found to be superior to placebo in slowing the progression of brain atrophy in patients with progressive multiple sclerosis. The study, conducted at 28 sites around the country, including Columbia University Irving Medical Center, was published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Why it Matters

About a dozen drugs have been approved for the treatment of relapsing-remitting MS, but few therapies are available for the progressive stage of the disease.

“We’re very encouraged by the results. This opens a new avenue of hope for patients with progressive MS, which has been very difficult to treat,” says study co-author Claire S. Riley, MD, assistant professor of neurology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and medical director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Columbia.

Background

MS is characterized by a breakdown of myelin, a fatty substance that surrounds axons (part of the nerve cell that transmits signals between brain cells). When myelin degrades, communication between brain cells slows down, causing symptoms such as muscle weakness and problems with thinking and memory. In the most common form of the disease, relapsing-remitting MS, symptoms occur then disappear for weeks or months. Most people with relapsing-remitting disease eventually develop secondary progressive MS, in which symptoms worsen as the brain atrophies. About 15 percent of MS patients have primary progressive MS, in which the disease progresses with the onset of symptoms, without early relapses or remissions. MS is estimated to affect 400,000 people in the United States and 2 million people worldwide.

This opens a new avenue of hope for patients with progressive MS, which has been very difficult to treat.

Ibudilast, which is made by MediciNova, has been marketed in South Korea and Japan since 1989 for the treatment of dizziness after stroke and bronchial asthma. In the United States, it is being studied as a treatment for ALS (another neurodegenerative disorder) and for drug addiction.

What’s New

In this trial, 255 patients with primary or secondary progressive MS were randomized to receive oral ibudilast or placebo for almost two years. The patients ranged in age from 18 to 65, with an average disease duration of 12 years. Using magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers found that patients taking ibudilast had 48 percent less brain atrophy compared with controls. The drug was well tolerated but was associated with higher rates of gastrointestinal side effects, headache, and depression than placebo.

What it Means

Ibudilast appears to be safe and effective for the treatment of patients with progressive MS, although phase 3 clinical trials must demonstrate the drug’s effectiveness in clinical outcomes before it can receive FDA approval. 

What’s Next 

MedicaNova is currently looking at opportunities to begin phase 3 trials of ibudilast in patients with progressive MS.

Caveats 

This study looked at brain volume, not symptoms. However, brain shrinkage in MS is usually associated with declines in physical and cognitive function. “We can detect brain volume changes more accurately than changes in physical or cognitive function, which is why the study used brain volume change as the primary outcome,” explains Riley. “This allowed us to obtain results over a shorter period of time with fewer patients. Further studies are needed to determine if ibudilast has any effect on symptoms or neurologic disability.”

The drug was tested only in patients with progressive MS, not those with relapsing-remitting disease. If phase 3 trials prove that ibudilast is effective for those with progressive MS, it may be considered for use in a broader swath of the MS population, says Riley.

More Info

The study, “Phase 2 Trial of Ibudilast in Progressive Multiple Sclerosis,” was published Aug. 30, 2018, in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Claire S. Riley is assistant professor of neurology and medical director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons.

The other authors are listed in the paper.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (U01NS082329), the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and MediciNova.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles