Bexarotene, a drug that could help the brain regrow myelin in people with MS, has started its phase II clinical trial.
Researchers at Cambridge Centre for Myelin Repair and Edinburgh Centre for MS Research jointly discovered that Bexarorene, which is already a licensed cancer treatment, might help people with MS.
Working together they showed that parts of the brain affected by Bexarotene are also responsible for encouraging myelin repair.
Professor Alasdair Coles, who is leading the trial, said: “We are very excited to be testing a drug that could encourage the brain’s own stem cells to replace myelin damaged in MS.
“The fact that we have myelin repair treatments in clinical trial shows how far we’ve come in MS research in recent years.”
Dr Aisling McMahon, our Head of Clinical Trials, said: “There are currently no treatments that can repair the damage to myelin that occurs in in MS. We’re determined to find effective treatments for everyone living with MS and we are very pleased to be funding important clinical trials in this area.”
The trial is only open to people with relapsing MS who are currently on a disease modifying therapy (DMT). It will involve 50 people and the first person involved started their treatment in March.
Recruitment is taking place in Cambridge and Edinburgh, but not everyone will be eligible because of other important criteria.
The trial will run for four years to study the long-term benefits for people with MS.
For more information about the criteria for the trial click here. To access the trial you will need to be referred by your GP or neurologist.