MS Wrap-up: Walking Improvement, Pregnancy in RMS, and More

Here are some of the latest developments in multiple sclerosis (MS) from our sister publication, NeurologyLive®.

Partnership Investigating RAS Use in MS

Rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS) is being investigated for use in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) through a collaboration between Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and MedRhythms, a digital therapeutics company.

The safety and efficacy of MR-004, a digital therapeutic, will be evaluated against standard-of-care treatment as they pertain to such outcomes as gait speed and neuroimaging. More than 80% of patients with MS have some sort of walking impairment.

Led by Eric Klawiter, MD, MSc, director, Multiple Sclerosis and Neuromyelitis Optica Unit at MGH, and Ron Hirschberg, MD, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School, the current study expands on a Cleveland Clinic pilot study of MR-004 and is being funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

You can read the full article here.

Pregnancy in Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis

A panel of experts in a recent NeurologyLive® Peer Exchange discussed the implications of pregnancy and its effects on treatment selection for a 25-year-old patient.

Preferring instead to first treat the MS for at least 2 years, Patricia K. Coyle, MD, Stony Brook Medicine, emphasized the possibilities of microscopic damage and the inability to predict mild disease in some patients. She also noted how important it is to collaborate with patients when deciding on the most satisfactory disease-modifying therapy, adding that glatiramer acetate has a high pregnancy rating for use in patients with MS.

Robert Fox, MD, Cleveland Clinic, stated he would present several oral therapies as prospective treatment options, highlighting their various risk and adverse effect profiles, because patients have various treatment risk levels they are comfortable with.

You can see the Peer Exchange here.

ATA188 Study Underway Among Adults With Progressive MS

The safety, tolerability, product kinetics, and the biological and clinical effect of ATA188, a T-cell immunotherapy candidate, are currently being investigated in part 2 of a phase 1/2 study for use among patients with progressing forms of MS. Primary end points of the study include change from baseline in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) immunoglobulin G index, change from baseline in clinical disability on the Expanded Disability Status Scale, Timed 25-Foot Walk, and cervical spinal cord volume and whole brain volume on MRI.

In a recent interview with NeurologyLive®, Jakob Dupont, MD, MA, head of global research and executive vice president, Atara Biotherapeutics, the company that is developing ATA188, noted the physical improvements already being seen among patients with progressive MS, “which is really unheard of in this patient population, because by definition progressive MS is a patient population where the disease unfortunately gets worse and worse over time.”

The blinded study, which began in June 2020, will enroll up to 80 patients at present and randomize them to treatment with ATA188 or placebo.

You can see the video with Dupont here.

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