Acorda Therapeutics Inc. in Ardsley and the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota have enrolled the first patient in the first clinical trial of an antibody being studied for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).
The drug being tested for safety and patient tolerability, rHIgM22, in preclinical studies has been shown to stimulate production of new myelin and improve function in persons with MS.
An MS patient’s own immune system destroys myelin, which insulates nerves and facilitates conduction of nerve impulses that control functions such as movement and vision. Progressive damage to myelin causes functional impairment in persons with the disease.
There are no approved therapies that stimulate the repair or regrowth of myelin once it has been damaged.
“This remyelinating antibody, if successful in clinical trials and approved, would be a novel approach to treating people with chronic neurologic deficits from multiple sclerosis or other similar conditions,” said Dr. Moses Rodriguez, a neurologist specializing in MS at the Mayo Clinic, whose team initially identified rHIgM22.
The remyelinating antibody program is the result of a research collaboration between Acorda and the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. Acorda in 2000 licensed worldwide rights to patents and other intellectual property for these antibodies related to nervous system disorders under an exclusive license agreement with the Mayo Clinic.