Can Anti-HIV Drugs Stop MS?

A board to discuss future MS therapies in early stage (Phase I or II) trials.
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Can Anti-HIV Drugs Stop MS?

Post by reallyreally » Fri May 10, 2013 8:01 am

A clinical trial now underway at Queen Mary University in London, England, called be INSPIRE trial (click here), is attempting to use Raltegravir to treat MS patients. Researchers hope that the drug will deactivate any activated retroviral material in the DNA of MS patients, while perhaps also combating EBV, and thus stop multiple sclerosis in its tracks. Another group of researchers in Switzerland are trying to accomplish the same outcome using an experimental drug that targets a protein on a specific HERV that is thought to be directly connected with MS, which has been dubbed the Multiple Sclerosis Associated Retrovirus, or MSRV (click here). This is a small, 10 person Phase 2 trial whose primary goal is to establish the safety of the experimental drug being tested. Results from the INSPIRE trial, which is just getting underway, are not expected until August, 2014, and the results from the Swiss trial are expected in July of this year. ... op-ms.html

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Re: Can Anti-HIV Drugs Stop MS?

Post by CureOrBust » Tue May 28, 2013 10:17 pm

Although its not the actual text for the case report, it does give a little more information on the case that spurred the project.

Case report: Is MS caused by a retrovirus?
In response to an email request for more information on the following case report:

Maruszak H, Brew BJ, Giovannoni G, Gold J. Could antiretroviral drugs be effective in multiple sclerosis? A case report. Eur J Neurol. 2011 Sep;18(9):e110-1. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2011.03430.x.

This is a case report of a man aged 26 who was diagnosed with possible MS in 1985 within several months of an initial confirmation of acute HIV-1 infection. Over subsequent years his neurological deficits and clinical investigations confirmed the diagnosis of RRMS. RRMS episodes were treated with systemic steroids with some effect. The patient could not tolerate interferon beta or glatiramer acetate therapy. The multiple system presentation of the RRMS, his young age and frequency of episodes all predicted a poor prognosis for his MS. During this period, the patient’s HIV condition remained asymptomatic and stable with a CD4 T cell count within normal limits and relatively moderate HIV viral load (<20,000 copies/ml). After 10 years from his acute HIV infection with an HIV RNA viral load of 19,000 copies/ml and a CD4 T cell count of 400 cells/ml (normal 500-1000 cells/ml) the patient was commenced on a highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) regimen with drugs known to have good central nervous system (CNS) penetration. In the past 14 years since he has been on HAART he has suffered no further neurological episodes.
I have not found any free copies of the full case report, but the following is a link to purchase it: ... x/abstract

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Re: Can Anti-HIV Drugs Stop MS?

Post by jimmylegs » Wed May 29, 2013 12:20 pm

aside: selenium status correlates positively with HIV/AIDS mortality, and averages lower than healthy controls in MS patients.

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Re: Can Anti-HIV Drugs Stop MS?

Post by NHE » Wed May 29, 2013 3:10 pm

jimmylegs wrote:aside: selenium status correlates positively with HIV/AIDS mortality, and averages lower than healthy controls in MS patients.
Do you mean that it's a negative correlation, i.e., the lower the selenium the greater the mortality?

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Re: Can Anti-HIV Drugs Stop MS?

Post by Gogo » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:32 am

It seems to me that even if the drug proves effective, it only helps RRMS patients, doesn't it? Could it be that neurotoxins are already released when someone is in progressive stage, so this drug would not help them? These patients' progression is not linked to Gd-enhanced lesions.

This is from

"Detailed Description:

There is accumulating research evidence that Human Endogenous Retrovirus (HERV) and herpes viruses (in particular Epstein-Barr Virus) are involved in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. People with active MS have higher levels of HERVs than people either without MS or who have other neurological conditions. It has been shown that HERVs may produce neurotoxic proteins/antigens associated with MS activity and disease progression. This is the first clinical trial investigating the hypothesis that the antiretroviral drug raltegravir may suppress HERV activity and ameliorate progression of relapsing remitting MS. Raltegravir is an integrase inhibitor which blocks retroviral replication. A recent experimental study suggests that raltegravir may also be active against herpes viruses.

Eligible participants (see Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria) will be observed for 3 months having monthly brain Gadolinium enhanced MRIs and blood/urine/saliva sampling (baseline). Then they will be treated with raltegravir (one 400mg pill taken twice a day) for 3 months. During treatment period participants will continue to have monthly MRIs and blood/saliva/urine sampling. Participants will have monthly clinical and neurological examinations and they will complete questionnaires assessing response to treatment. Participants will have screening and study visits at The Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel. Monthly MRIs will be performed at the Institute of Neurology at Queens Square, London."

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Re: Can Anti-HIV Drugs Stop MS?

Post by 1eye » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:54 pm

They appear to be proving a method of helping primary and secondary progressives. Very safe, does not alter immune system. Targets a human endogenous retro-virus implicated in our favorite problem. Does anyone here know the difference between "MS" and CIDP?

Seems they are running phase 2 now.

Anyway, here is their newsletter.
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