Multiple sclerosis: discovery of an antibody that would allow a new treatment

New hope in the fight against multiple sclerosis, the most common cause of neurological disability in young adults. Researchers at the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) have developed an antibody with possible therapeutic effects against this autoimmune disease, which affects the brain and spinal cord.

Their work, which was the subject of a patent application, was published this Wednesday in the journal specialized Brain. The antibody, called Glunomab and developed in the laboratory, has been successfully tested in mice with a form of multiple sclerosis, and offers prospects for the development of a new drug.

Prevent the passage of aggressive cells in the nervous system

The principle: it prevents the opening of blood-brain and blood-spinal barriers, thus limiting the passage in the nervous system of the aggressive cells of the immune system.

In patients with multiple sclerosis, these immune cells, especially lymphocytes, cause the destruction of the protective sheath of neuronal extensions, thus disrupting the transmission of nerve impulses.

Progression of associated motor disorders blocked

But after an intravenous injection of Glunomab in rodents, the researchers observed a decrease in lymphocyte infiltration into nerve tissue, and a reduction in the destruction of nerve sheaths. Assessment: the progression of motor disorders (partial or complete paralysis of limbs) that result, has been blocked.

“We hope to start clinical trials – first on the safety of the antibody, then on its effectiveness if the safety is verified – as soon as possible,” says AFP Fabian Docagne, who led the study.

“For this, we are looking for partners (industrial, etc.) willing to finance tests that can represent an investment of several million euros.

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