Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory and degenerative disease of the central nervous system that affects more than 30,000 people in Spain and around 2.5 million people in the world. This autoimmune illness seriously affects the nervous system and results in a loss of sensations and balance, speech difficulties, muscle rigidness, fatigue, changes in sight and paralysis.
The drugs currently used to treat multiple sclerosis are immunemodulators that can have serious side effects, have a limited effect and require ‘parental’ administration (intravenous or below skin), that makes it difficult for a patient to stick to a treatment.
The new treatment developed by MSALS, known as NT-KO-003, has proven to be effective in multiple sclerosis animal models, improving the clinical symptoms of those animals treated, reducing related neurological damage and changing the progression of the illness. Its mechanism of action is completely different from traditional drugs and it can be administered orally. NT-KO-003 will begin clinic trials in the first quarter of 2011 with the aim of confirming its effectiveness in multiple sclerosis patients and validating the pre-clinical results obtained thus far.
To undertake these clinical trials, MSALS will have clinical coordination support from the Hospital Clinic and the Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona, along with the collaboration of Barcelona University – IDIBAPS.
For this project, Neurotec will take the first molecule resulting from the investigation to clinical phase in a co-development with Advancell, while Aromics will validate new multiple sclerosis biomarkers. With this development Advancell reaffirms its business model that consists in developing drugs until a clinical proof of concept (Phase II) and subsequently licensing them to a pharmaceutical partner to take them to market.