Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

DNA Vaccine Against Multiple Sclerosis Appears Safe, Potentially Beneficial

Date:
August 14, 2007
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
A newly developed DNA vaccine appears safe and may produce beneficial changes in the brains and immune systems of individuals with multiple sclerosis, according to a new article.

A newly developed DNA vaccine appears safe and may produce beneficial changes in the brains and immune systems of individuals with multiple sclerosis, according to an article posted online today that will appear in the October 2007 print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

In patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), the immune system attacks the myelin sheaths that protect nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, according to background information in the article. The nerve cell's axon, which transmits messages to other neurons, is eventually destroyed. The cause of MS is unknown, but evidence points to the involvement of immune cells and antibodies that recognize and attack specific substances in the myelin, such as myelin basic protein. Certain cytokines, small proteins produced by cells that trigger inflammation, also may play a role.

Amit Bar-Or, M.D., of the Montreal Neurological Institute and colleagues tested a DNA vaccine, BHT-3009, that encodes a full-length human myelin basic protein. Between 2004 and 2006, the researchers administered the vaccine to 30 patients with relapsing-remitting MS [characterized by symptomatic periods and periods of remission] or secondary progressive MS [when symptoms progressively worsen, but there still may be periods of remission].

After one, three, five and nine weeks, participants received intramuscular injections of placebo or BHT-3009 (in doses of .5 milligrams, 1.5 milligrams or 3 milligrams), with or without 80-milligram pills of atorvastatin calcium, a lipid-lowering drug previously shown to be effective in autoimmune conditions. After 13 weeks, participants who initially received placebo received four injections of BHT-3009.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other safety evaluations were performed at the beginning of the study, and again after five, nine, 13, 26, 38 and 50 weeks. "BHT-3009 was safe and well tolerated, provided favorable trends on brain MRI and produced beneficial antigen-specific immune changes," the authors write. These changes included a reduction in the number of cytokine-producing CD4+ T cells (a type of white blood cell) specifically targeting myelin proteins. This reduction was found in the blood as well as in the cerebrospinal fluid of three patients who voluntarily underwent lumbar puncture after completing the course of BHT-3009. Atorvastatin did not appear to provide additional benefit.

"There were no increases in clinical relapses, disability, drug-associated laboratory abnormalities, adverse events or the number and volume of contrast-enhancing [visible on MRI] lesions on brain MRI with BHT-3009 treatment compared with placebo," the authors write. "In fact, there was a trend toward a decrease in the number and volume of contrast-enhancing lesions in the brain in patients treated with BHT-3009 compared with placebo."

Based on these results, a phase 2b trial--a randomized clinical trial in approximately 290 patients--of BHT-3009 is already under way. "If successful in MS, antigen-specific DNA vaccines can be developed for prevention or treatment of related diseases, such as type 1 diabetes mellitus, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and myasthenia gravis," the authors conclude.

Reference: ArchNeurol. 2007;64(10):(doi:10.1001/archneur.64.10.nct70002).

The work described in this article was funded by Bayhill Therapeutics, Inc.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "DNA Vaccine Against Multiple Sclerosis Appears Safe, Potentially Beneficial." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070813162505.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2007, August 14). DNA Vaccine Against Multiple Sclerosis Appears Safe, Potentially Beneficial. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070813162505.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "DNA Vaccine Against Multiple Sclerosis Appears Safe, Potentially Beneficial." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070813162505.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins