Feb 09, 2002
A drug at the second stage, Phase II, of its clinical tests in cancer has been found to also have treatment potential for the severe, progressive form of multiple sclerosis as opposed to the relapsing-remitting form for which there are now at least three treatments.
In a pre-clinical studies, testing the drug in an autoimmune condition very similar to MS, the incidence of neurological symptoms was reduced by 50% versus placebo.
Mortality and disease severity were also substantially reduced.
The drug BBR2778, being developed by Italian biotech company Novuspharma SpA, (a spin-off from Boehringer Mannheim and Hoffman-La Roche) would have advantages over current treatment in that it less harmful to the heart in high doses.
The company will progress to more studies in chronic disease models that more closely reflect severe MS in humans.
Meanwhile data should be available by the year end from the Phase II trial of BBR 2778 in Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
The drug was developed in conjunction with the University of Vermont. Novuspharma holds the international licence on the patent for the drug plus additional related patents.
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