Positive interim results of two Phase I/II clinical trials for Tovaxin are released.
Hi, I am Tim,
Here is just a little of my story. So much has happened that I could write a book about my last two years. The vaccine appears to have arrested my disease and has done the same for the other people in the study.
I have two small websites that show a timeline of events. The first one is http://www.IHaveMS.com
. It starts with the first injection and goes for 18 months. My websites are little 10-page boilerplate sites, so my timeline continues on a second website http://www.TimsWellness.com
from June 2004 to the present. I am a little behind on the second website. I haven't written anything since the end of February, but I will get back to it soon. My Dad and I work on it together.
I am actually out doing things again. I am going by myself to see some friends in San Francisco in two weeks. This is amazing, since two years ago, my parents were taking me from our home in Michigan to Houston in a wheelchair.
Tovaxin is an autologous vaccine. That means they take some of my blood, cull out the T-cells and introduce them to human myelin. Those that react to the myelin are culled out and replicated. Once there are enough for the vaccine, about 45 million cells, the T-cells are irradiated so that they are still alive, but cannot reproduce. That is the vaccine. This is an animation of how it works http://www.pharmafrontierscorp.com/toxavin.php
The vaccine is injected just under my skin, you can see some pictures at TimsWellness.com , and the body treats these T-cells as a foreign invader and makes antibodies to eliminate only these specific T-cells. These antibodies not only take out the T-cells from the vaccine, but also eliminate all of that same type of T-cell throughout my body.
The body produces 2 to 3 trillion red blood cells per day. I am not sure how many T-cells are produced per day, but if 1 or 2 per million are troublemakers, that means there are hundreds of millions of myelin reactive T-cells floating around in the blood stream of someone with MS. A flare is when the body produces too many of these bad T-cells. No one is sure why this happens, but it may be caused by an upper respiratory infection, or a cold sore, or some other immune response that triggers the body to produce T-cells that mistake myelin as something bad.
By eliminating these 1 or 2 per 1 million T-cells does not compromise the immune system, but it does eliminate all of the T-cells that destroy the myelin. No bad T-cells means no more attacks. Anyone on Tovaxin will need to get a booster twice a year to keep the antibodies at a level sufficient to continue to eliminate all of the myelin reactive T-cells as they are produced. This is just like a flu shot.
I think about 30 to 40% of the damage that was done by the attacks has been reversed. The body will repair itself, as long as the attacks stop. I am helping myself by doing a lot of exercising and activities that improve my small motor skills.
I am doing many things that I was no longer able to do. When I started the vaccine, my parent's were cutting my food and feeding it to me. I am able to cut my own food, and today, I peeled some shrimp. Realizing that I can again do something as insignificant as peel a shrimp really makes me feel good. I used to wonder why people got so excited to see a disabled family member regain some little ability, now I understand, and I understand why my family is trilled at even my smallest improvement.
At this point, I feel that I am starting to ramble on, so I will stop. Ask me some questions, and I will try to answer them. I can even get a little deeper into the science behind all of this, and if I cannot answer it, I am sure I can get some highly technical, totally incomprehensible scientific explanation from one of the doctors involved in the study.
Best regards, Tim