Tovaxin Update/Trial

A board to discuss future MS therapies in early stage (Phase I or II) trials.

Tovaxin Update/Trial

Postby Dunmann » Thu Mar 09, 2006 7:07 am

This from BBC news.


MS vaccine testing to start in US

Researchers are working towards having an MS vaccine
A US company is set to begin a trial of a vaccine which it claims halts the progress of multiple sclerosis.

PharmaFrontiers is to test its tailor-made vaccine on 100 patients with MS, after a small-scale study showed promise, New Scientist reports.

MS experts have welcomed the research but urged caution because other vaccines have not been successful.

The degenerative disease attacks the nervous system and affects 2.5m people worldwide, of which 1% die each year.

"No vaccines have worked so far."
Richard Rudick, Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis

In MS, immune cells destroy the myelin sheath - a protective layer - that surrounds nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord and enables them to transmit impulses.

The vaccine being studied in the US contains inactive myelin-specific T cells - found in the immune system.

To make it, a blood sample is taken from the patient and the cells are extracted.

They are then multiplied in a lab, and treated with radiation before being re-injected into the patient.

The body's immune system then recognises these modified T cells as being damaged and attacks them, priming the body's defence system in the same way a conventionally designed vaccine would, the researchers say.

'92% success'

Earlier trials have shown that, in some cases, all these cells are wiped out when they are re-injected.

But the immune system also targets undamaged cells of the same kind - even though they are not damaged - because they have the same markers on their surfaces.

In one trial of 15 patients, the vaccine reduced the rate of flare-ups by 92%.

The new study will compare the progress of 100 vaccinated people who have the relapsing-remitting form of the disease with 50 who are untreated.

"This is interesting work, and we are pleased to see it taken forward in a larger study". MS Society

David McMillan, of PharmaFrontiers, said if earlier results were replicated in this study, it might be possible to slow or even halt the progress of the condition.

"If that's the case, the earlier we can do it after diagnosis, the better."

The company claims the vaccine would only have to be given four times a year.

But MS experts say much more evidence is needed before there could be confidence in this vaccine, compared to others which have been worked on.

Richard Rudick of the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis in Cleveland, Ohio, said: "None have worked so far. This one may, but we don't yet know."

A spokesman for the UK's MS Society said: "This is interesting work, and we are pleased to see it taken forward in a larger study."


Original link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4787430.stm

Here's the google news feed: http://news.google.com/news?ie=utf8&oe= ... 19,00.html

Dunmann.
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Postby scoobyjude » Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:17 pm

I know that the other vaccines they have tried haven't worked but I am so anxious to see the results of Tovaxin. It just sounds so simple and yet so promising. I hope it isn't just hype. If a trial is near me, this is one I want to participate in. With my luck I'd probably end up being in the placebo group but it would be worth it if it works.
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Postby Dunmann » Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:19 am

I too am excited about this drug however, I wonder how (if it is successful) they would distribute this vaccine to tens or hundreds of thousands of people considering it is tailored to each individual. Although they say it will only be given four times a year, just image the work that must go into producing just one persons vaccine alone.

Is this concept viable? I hope they have a good plan for this.

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Postby scoobyjude » Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:57 pm

You're right about that. It had occured to me too but I think I just chose to block out the logical problems because I am so hopeful about it. If it does prove to be effective, maybe they will be able to find a common thread that they can manipulate so it can be mass produced. I guess I'm just thinking optimistically.
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