VX-765 identified as a strong candidate therapy for multiple sclerosis

Researchers at the University of Alberta have identified a strong candidate therapy for multiple sclerosis known as VX-765.

Published in the journal Glia, the anti-inflammatory drug is purported to substantially reduce the disease’s progression, becoming a central focus on the discovery of a newer effective treatment for multiple sclerosis.

“Inflammatory demyelination and axonal injury in the central nervous system (CNS) are cardinal features of progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), and linked to activated brain macrophage‐like cells (BMCs) including resident microglia and trafficking macrophages,” the co-authors detailed in their journal article.

“Caspase‐1 is a pivotal mediator of inflammation and cell death in the CNS. We investigated the effects of caspase‐1 activation and its regulation in models of MS,” they added.

According to researchers, inflammation is believed to be pivotal in the development of multiple sclerosis. Molecules known as inflammasomes are behind the activation of an inflammatory response in the body; the new candidate drug VX-765 experimented on rodents, inhibits caspase-1, thus reducing the likelihood of harmful inflammation.

“The study shows intranasal therapy is effective in preventing demyelination and axon injury and loss, so that’s a real tonic for us to keep going,” the co-authors explained in a news release.

“The loss of myelin and loss of nerves are irreversible processes, so any therapeutic that helps to slow or prevent that from happening is an exciting advance for MS research.”

The study was funded by the Alberta Innovates‐Health Solutions Collaborative Research and Innovation Opportunities Team grant (AIHS‐CRIO).

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