Coronavirus and MS

Source Multiple Sclerosis International Federation:  The coronavirus and MS – what you need to know

The ‘novel coronavirus’ (recently named by the World Health Organization as COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that has not previously been seen in humans. COVID-19 is a strain of coronavirus that was first detected in China in December 2019, and has since spread to other parts of the world.

What does COVID-19 mean for people living with MS?

As this strain of the coronavirus is new, we still need to learn more about how it may affect people with MS.

Many disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) for MS work by suppressing or modifying the immune system. We know that people with MS who are receiving these therapies can face an increased risk of complications related to viral infections.

If you are taking a DMT and are either exposed to COVID-19 or are confirmed to have the COVID-19 infection, please contact your neurologist or other medical professionals.  Read on.

MS Patients Switching from Tysabri to Other Therapies May Risk Disease Activity

Source Multiple Sclerosis News Today:  Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients switching from Tysabri (natalizumab) to other disease-modifying therapies may have an increased risk of disease activity, though the risk is lower if the switch is limited to three months, a study found.

The results were published in an article, “Effect of switching from natalizumab to moderate- vs high-efficacy DMT in clinical practice,” in the journal Neurology Clinical Practice.

Tysabri, marketed by Biogen, is an antibody treatment that blocks immune system cells from moving into the brain and spinal cord. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for MS in 2004, but was pulled from the market after being linked to a rare neurological disorder called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML).  Read on.

Masitinib Slows Disability Progression in PPMS and Non-active SPMS, Phase 2/3 Trial Reports

Source Multiple Sclerosis News Today: AB Science‘s masitinib significantly slowed disability progression in people with primary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS) and non-active secondary progressive MS (SPMS) at a lower dose of 4.5 mg/kg a day, top-line results from a Phase 2b/3 clinical trial show.

Masitinib, formerly known as AB1010, is an oral therapy that inhibits the activity of cells in the innate immune system, specifically mast cells, microglia, and macrophages. In doing so, the therapy is expected to limit the inflammatory processes that cause damage to the nervous system in MS.

It may also have applications in other conditions, including other neurological diseases and certain cancers.  Read on.


Coronavirus –

Statement from the MS National Therapy Centres

If you have travelled to any of the countries affected by the Corona virus please follow the protocol for self-isolation for 14 days.

If you have direct contact with anyone who either has Coronavirus or who has been to a HIGH RISK area, please stay away from the Centre for 14 days.

Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. If you cough or sneeze follow the standard hand hygiene advice: Catch it, bin it, kill it.

Guidance is constantly evolving and everybody is advised to follow the news and check or updates

NHS ‘rapid response teams’ to help sick and older people at home.

Source The Guardian: Plan aims to relieve strain on hospitals by offering a visit within two hours.

Older people and the very sick will be visited within two hours by a “rapid response team” of health and care staff under new NHS plans to relieve the strain on overcrowded hospitals.

The teams will include nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers and social care staff working for NHS trusts and local councils in England.

The “urgent community response” teams will operate 365 days a year. They will help older people and those with complex care needs whose health has suddenly deteriorated – through a fall, infection or exacerbation of an illness – try to avoid ending up in a hospital.  Read on.

Online Fatigue- management course

Source MS Society: This online course will help you find ways to manage your MS fatigue and explain it to other people.

It’s made up of 6 sessions that should take around 20 minutes each. In between the sessions are exercises for you to do, to help you think about your own fatigue.

The course works best if you leave at least three days in between each session to do the exercises. Bookmark this page so you can find it again easily.  Read on.

Where are the Severe Disability Premiums?

Source Independent Living: The Court of Appeal has recently rejected the Department for Work and Pensions’ challenge to the High Court decisions that protected claimants who received severe disability premium against a drop in income when they were moved to Universal Credit.

Two disabled individuals, known as TP and AR, brought the cases when their benefit was reduced by £180 a month. They had to claim universal credit rather than staying on legacy benefits after moving into a different local authority area.

Will the DWP go all the way to the Supreme Court?

The DWP has said that it is considering the judgment carefully, before deciding whether or not to pursue the matter into the Supreme Court.

They say that they are continuing to make transitional payments to people who were previously receiving the severe disability premium and that more than 15,000 people have already been paid £51.5 million.  Read on.

Multiple Sclerosis Drugs Might Not Need To Reach the Brain To Have Clinical Efficacy

Source Technology Networks: Scientists from Trinity College Dublin have made an important discovery that could lead to more effective treatments for people living with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis. Their work highlights the significant potential of drugs targeting a specific immune molecule (IL-17) implicated in MS.

The scientists, led by Kingston Mills, Professor of Experimental Immunology, and Aoife McGinley, Postdoctoral Fellow, in Trinity’s School of Biochemistry and Immunology have published their results in Immunity.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating disease that affects around 2.3 million people globally and over 9,000 people in Ireland. It is associated with infiltration of immune cells into the brain and spinal cord that cause damage to nerves, leading to neurological disabilities.

However, the cause and precise immunological basis to this autoimmune disease are still unclear.  Read on.

Sanofi MS drug results set stage for extensive late-stage testing

Source With positive results from a mid-stage study in hand, Sanofi is pushing an experimental multiple sclerosis drug into an extensive late-stage research program comprised of four studies scheduled to begin in the middle of this year.

More details from the Phase 2b study will be presented at an upcoming medical meeting, according to Sanofi. In the meantime, the French pharma disclosed Thursday that its drug significantly reduced the number of new brain lesions seen in patients with recurring MS while also being well tolerated, with safety findings in-line with previous research.
Sanofi licensed the drug, which inhibits an enzyme known as BTK or Bruton’s tyrosine kinase, from Principia BioPharma in late 2017. While drugmakers have found success targeting BTK for cancer treatment, some have also been looking into its application in MS. Aside from Sanofi, Biogen and Merck KGaA have advanced BTK inhibitors into clinical trials of multiple sclerosis patients.  Read on.