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Remyelination in multiple sclerosis

from concept to clinical trials

Kremer, Davida; Göttle, Petera; Flores-Rivera, Joseb; Hartung, Hans-Petera; Küry, Patricka

Current Opinion in Neurology: June 2019 - Volume 32 - Issue 3 - p 378–384
doi: 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000692
DEMYELINATING DISEASES: Edited by Hans-Peter Hartung
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Purpose of review Medications for relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) effectively reduce relapse rate, mitigate disability progression and improve MRI measures of inflammation. However, they have virtually no impact on remyelination which is the major mechanism preventing MS-associated neurodegeneration. Stimulating the generation of myelin-(re)producing cells is therefore a central focus of current MS research and a yet unmet clinical need. Here, we present and evaluate key scientific studies from the field of (therapeutic) remyelination research covering the past 1.5 years.

Recent findings On the one hand, recent research in the field of remyelination has strongly focused on repurposing drugs that are already approved for other indications by the Food and Drug Administration or the European Medicines Agency. On the other hand, emerging agents such as the mAbs opicinumab and GNbAC1 target entirely new and unconventional pathways. Some of them have already been tested in clinical trials in which they were found to exert beneficial effects on remyelination as well as on neuroregeneration/neuroprotection.

Summary Several of the agents discussed in this review have shown a high potential as future neuroregenerative drugs. However, future trials with more sensitive clinical and paraclinical primary endpoints will be necessary to prove their effectiveness in MS.

aDepartment of Neurology, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany

bDepartment of Neurology, National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Mexico City, Mexico

Correspondence to Patrick Küry, PhD, Neuroregeneration Laboratory, Department of Neurology, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine University, Moorenstrasse 5, D-40225 Düsseldorf, Germany. Tel: +49 211 811 17822; fax: +49 211 811 8469; e-mail: kuery@uni-duesseldorf.de

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