Hi to all,
I am in the FDA trial for Tovaxin, an MS vaccine. 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 have a thread "Tovaxin new MS vaccine" going on Montel's Corner. http://www.spotlighthealth.com/common/f ... ?m=2&sb=12
In it, I discuss being in an FDA trial for Tovaxin, which is a vaccine that targets and eliminates the myelin reactive T-cell that cause MS.
I am actually out doing things again. I just returned from a solo trip to see some friends in San Francisco. 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.
The vaccine is injected just under my skin, you can see some pictures at http://www.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. The company has a nice animation of how Tovaxin works at http://www.pharmafrontierscorp.com/toxavin.php
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.
PharmaFrontiers was asked to be a presenter at the 21st Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Thessaloniki Greece. I will paste in the press release and the poster session from Greece. It showed a 92% decrease in attacks compared to the CRAB drugs 33% and a decrease in disability where the CRAB drugs have none. The company hopes to start phase IIb/III trials at the end of this year. Enrollment will start in Texas and at the other sites (I don't know where) after the first of the year.
The company is PharmaFrontiers and the company website is http://www.pharmafrontierscorp.com/
The principal investigator for the current studies is Dr. Brian Loftus BLoftus@diagnosticclinic.com
The study is posted on his website http://www.loftusmd.com/Articles/MS/Tce ... eRRMS.html
To get on the list for the next trial of Tovaxin, the best person to email is Shannon Inman firstname.lastname@example.org
. She works for the company and is keeping a file of interested people. There will be sites throughout the US and some in Canada. There may be some outside of North America.
Best regards, Tim
PharmaFrontiers Presents Positive Tovaxin(TM) Research at International Multiple Sclerosis Meeting
Monday October 3, 5:00 am ET
THE WOODLANDS, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 3, 2005--PharmaFrontiers Corp. (OTCBB:PFTR - News), a company involved in the development and commercialization of cell therapies, presented positive interim research findings of its Phase I/II clinical trials of Tovaxin(TM), a novel T cell therapeutic vaccine for Multiple Sclerosis on Friday, September 30, 2005, at the 21st European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) and the 10th Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) congress held in Thessaloniki, Greece. The trial results not only indicated that the treatment appeared safe and well tolerated with no dose-limiting toxicities, but that Tovaxin depletes the myelin-peptide reactive T cells that may contribute to the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) disease processes.
Tovaxin is a trivalent formulation of attenuated myelin-peptide reactive T cells (MRTCs), which are derived from peripheral blood and produced ex vivo as myelin basic protein (MBP), proteolipid protein (PLP) and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) reactive T cells.
The Tovaxin treatment depleted MRTCs in patients with MS. The patients in the trial also had improvements in the Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS), which measures subjective physical and psychological parameters, and the Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), which is an objective measure of the patient's physical disability.
"Seeing safety, tolerance and early effectiveness data at this stage of development is gratifying. More important is seeing the lowering of the MRTCs and the improvement in the clinical measures that reaffirms our belief that Tovaxin may be the key to treating patients who are in the earlier stages of MS," said David B. McWilliams, chief executive officer of PharmaFrontiers. "Based on mounting evidence from our research and others, we believe that autoimmune mechanisms directed at myelin tissue of the central nervous system may play a major role in causing MS.
"With our clinical development partner, INC Research, Raleigh, NC, we plan to initiate a follow-on Phase IIb clinical study of clinically isolated syndrome and early relapsing-remitting MS patients by the first quarter of 2006 to advance our understanding of this novel T cell therapeutic vaccine for MS," said McWilliams.
MRTCs play a critical role in the pathogenesis of MS. Previous T cell therapy pilot studies used a monovalent formulation of attenuated MRTCs to deplete MBP reactive T cells. Because several myelin antigens are described as potential autoantigens for MS, depletion of MRTCs using a trivalent formulation may have enhanced therapeutic effects.
The dose escalation study was designed for patients with relapsing-remitting or secondary-progressive MS, intolerant of, or having failed, current therapy. Blood was obtained from each patient from which T cells reactive to two peptides each of three proteins (MBP, PLP, and MOG) were expanded ex vivo and prepared as a trivalent formulation of MRTCs. The MRTCs were attenuated by Cesium137 irradiation prior to patients receiving subcutaneous injections of either 6-9 million cells (Dose 1) or 30-45 million cells (Dose 2) at weeks 0, 4, 12 and 20. MRTC frequencies were performed at baseline and weeks 5, 13, 21, 28 and 52. Patients were evaluated for changes in EDSS, MSIS and exacerbations.
"Tovaxin is a patient-specific therapeutic vaccination strategy for MS patients. To formulate Tovaxin T cell vaccine, the patient's own myelin peptide-specific activated T cell lines are harvested and attenuated on the day of vaccine administration," said Jim C. Williams, Ph.D., PharmaFrontiers chief operating officer and co-author of the study who presented at the meeting. "The shelf-life of the final product is approximately three days."
The study's results demonstrated that MRTCs in the peripheral blood were depleted in a dose dependent manner and analyses showed reductions in all three types of MRTCs at all follow-up visits. All patients in the Dose 2 group had a 100% reduction in MRTC counts at the week five follow-up visit. Percentage reductions were greater in the Dose 2 group than in the Dose 1 group at every follow-up visit. Correlation between the reduction in overall MRTC frequencies and the physical component of the MSIS (p=0.0086) was strong. There was a trend to improved EDSS (p=0.0561). The annual relapse rate (ARR) for the patients prior two years before therapy was 1.28 and following therapy the ARR was 0.10 (92 percent reduction) adjusted for the number of months in the study. The treatment appears to be safe and well tolerated with minimal adverse events and no dose-limiting toxicities.
"If myelin autoreactive T cells are the basis for MS, then we now appear to have a precision guided treatment to seek out and selectively suppress these T cells," said Brian D. Loftus, M.D., director of Neurology Research at the Diagnostic Clinic of Houston, principal investigator for PharmaFrontiers' two current Phase I/II clinical trials of Tovaxin, and co-author of the study who also presented at the meeting.
The presentation, "Autologous T Cell Therapy in Multiple Sclerosis: An Open Label Safety and Dose Range Study," is authored by Dr. Loftus, Mitzi Montgomery, DVM, Ph.D., PharmaFrontiers vice president of Preclinical Development, and Dr. Williams.
Previous studies of T cell vaccination conducted by Jingwu Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., director of Research, Baylor Multiple Sclerosis Center at The Methodist Hospital, and colleagues have shown that a monovalent (MBP selected MRTCs) formulation was safe and potentially beneficial in relapsing-remitting and secondary-progressive patients.
21st Congress of the European Committee for the Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis
10th Annual Meeting of the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis
Therapy - immunomodulation - Part II
Friday, September 30, 2005, 15:30 - 17:00
Autologous T cell therapy in multiple sclerosis: an open-label safety and dose-range study
B. Loftus, M. Montgomery, J. Williams (The Woodlands, USA)
Objective: To evaluate the safety of a trivalent autologous T cell therapy (TCT) (Tovaxin™) and the effective dose to deplete myelin peptide-reactive T cells (MRTCs) in Multiple Sclerosis. Background: MRTCs play a critical role in the pathogenesis of MS. Previous TCT pilot studies used a monovalent formulation of attenuated MRTCs to deplete myelin basic protein (MBP) reactive T cells. Because several myelin antigens are described as potential autoantigens for MS, depletion of MRTCs using a trivalent formulation (TF) may have enhanced therapeutic effects.
Design/Methods: Patients with relapsing remitting- or secondary progressive-MS intolerant of or having failed current therapy donated blood from which T cells reactive to two peptides each of three proteins [MBP, proteolipid protein (PLP) and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)] were expanded ex vivo and prepared as a TF of CD4+ and CD8+ MRTCs. The MRTCs were attenuated by Cesium137 irradiation prior to patients receiving subcutaneous injections of either 6-9 million cells (dose 1) or 30-45 million cells (dose 2) at weeks 0, 4, 12 and 20. MRTC frequencies were performed at baseline and weeks 5, 13, 21, 28 and 52. Patients were evaluated for changes in Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS) and exacerbations.
Results: MRTCs in the peripheral blood were depleted in a dose dependent manner and analyses showed reductions in all 3 types of MRTCs at all follow-up visits. All patients in the dose 2 group had a 100% reduction in MRTC counts at the week 5 follow-up visit. Percentage reductions were greater in the dose 2 group than in the dose 1 group at every follow-up visit. Correlation between the reduction in overall MRTC frequencies and the physical component of the MSIS (p=0.0086) was strong. There was a trend to improved EDSS (p=0.0561). One exacerbation was observed in the dose 1 group. The treatment appears to be safe and well tolerated with minimal adverse events and no dose-limiting toxicities.
Conclusion: MRTCs in patients with MS can be depleted by Tovaxin treatment. MSIS and EDSS clinical measures are improved and the treatment appears safe and well tolerated. A Phase IIb double-blind placebo-controlled trial to study the effects of Tovaxin in treatment of early relapsing MS patients is being planned.