More MS news articles for June 2001

Merlin Founders Contribute to Seminal Finding in Multiple Sclerosis Research

BOSTON, June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Merlin Technologies, Inc. (Merlin) is an early stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing cures for persistent stealth infections that contribute to long term chronic diseases.  Two of Merlin's founding scientists, Charles Stratton, M.D. and William Mitchell, M.D., Ph.D., partnered with Vanderbilt Researchers Subramamiam Sriram, M.B.B.S. and Song-Yi Yao, M.D. to publish what could be a landmark paper in the multiple sclerosis(MS) research.  The paper entitled CSF Oligoclonal Bands in MS Include Antibodies Against Chlamydophila Antigens was published in the May 8th 2001 issue of Neurology.
For decades the target of the oligoclonal antibodies found in more than 90% of MS patients has been a mystery.  While a small percentage of these antibodies have been shown to react with myelin, the insulating sheathe surrounding nerve cells, years of research has up until now failed to uncover the target of the remaining antibodies.  Researchers have postulated  that MS could be caused, in whole or in part, by a persistent infectious agent.  The long sought after "holy grail" trigger of many forms multiple sclerosis may have been discovered.  Chlamydia pneumoniae (Cpn), an obligate intracellular pathogen known for its ability to cause stealth infections capable of evading immune destruction, has been shown to be an antigenic target in the cerebral spinal fluid of MS patients.
Additional support for the role of Cpn in triggering MS came from a paper published in the May 2001 issue of Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology by Ikejima et al., who showed that the methods for handling and testing CSF from MS patients were important in detecting Cpn.  Ikejima and colleagues compared different diagnostic methods and showed that stringent DNA extraction and testing methods were necessary to detect the stealth pathogen in the CSF of most MS patients.  Ikejima and colleagues have gone a long way towards explaining why some laboratories have been able to find Cpn, whereas others have not been able to do so.
Merlin is believed to hold the world's largest intellectual property portfolio covering the detection and treatment of obligate intracellular stealth infections.  Chlamydia pneumoniae is one of Merlin's first targets.

SOURCE Merlin Technologies, Inc.
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