Trophos SA has announced the initiation of a phase 1b study of olesoxime in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients as a complementary therapy to their treatment with interferon beta.
The clinical trial is designed to demonstrate the safety and tolerability of olesoxime as a co-medication with immunomodulatory treatments, interferon beta being the most frequent first line therapy for relapsing remitting MS.
The study will also be a pilot study to assess the feasibility of various magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures to detect signs of neuroprotection and/or myelin repair in a multicenter trial.
The clinical trial is in preparation for future large-scale clinical trials to assess efficacy of olesoxime to prevent progressive disability in MS patients.
The trial, led by professor Jean Pelletier (AP-HM/CNRS-CRMBM/CEMEREM), will be conducted in three leading MS clinical centers in France, located in Marseille (AP-HM CHU Timone), Rennes (CHU de Rennes) and Reims (CHU de Reims).
Two MRI specialist labs (UMR CNRS 7339-CRMBM/CEMEREM in Marseille and INRIA VISAGES in Rennes) will analyze the imaging biomarker data acquired in the study.
This trial is the objective of an ANR-funded project, Translate MS-Repair, awarded to Trophos and this consortium (see press release October 11, 2012).
"MS is a chronic inflammatory disease leading to demyelination and axonal degeneration in the central nervous system. Today there are a number of effective treatments to control these relapsing inflammatory episodes in MS; however, they have little effect on progressive disability in MS patients," said Dr. Rebecca Pruss, Trophos' chief scientific officer.
Dr. Pruss continued, "It is also now recognized that MS is a chronic neurodegenerative disease. It affects 2.5 million people globally and is the first cause of non-traumatic disability in young adults. As a result, there is a very high unmet need for agents to promote myelin repair and prevent the neurodegeneration that underlies progressive disability in MS."
"This study is expected to provide further evidence of the safety and tolerability of olesoxime as a complementary therapy to immunomodulatory treatments used by the majority of MS patients," said Dr. Pascal Longlade, Trophos' chief medical officer.
Dr. Longlade continued, "We see this study as the first step in the development of olesoxime to prevent disability in both relapsing remitting as well as progressive forms of MS."
"MS disease progression has a market potential of over USD 1 billion. Trophos hopes that gathering leading experts in MS and bringing our consortium based approach to MS will make a real difference to this so far unmet medical need," said Christine Placet, CEO, Trophos. "Trophos remains committed to bringing solutions to conditions like MS and SMA, as well as cardiac reperfusion injury."