Novel immune targets in Multiple Sclerosis

In Multiple Sclerosis Interferonb has been used as a first line treatment regimen for the past 15 years and many patients have shown therapeutic benefit and continue to do so from this 'natural' immune modulator. However, for others interferonb shows no clear therapeutic benefit and we are looking into how to change these patients into 'responders to interferonb'. Combination therapies are popular for therapeutic use for cancer patients, what this means is that the problem is tackled by a multi-targeted approach to try to get the therapeutic outcome that is needed-a 'cure' or at least remission. So why not for Multiple Sclerosis? We have found that by blocking the actions of a protein that we found to be in the 'on-position' together with interferonb treatment, changes the 'non-responders' to 'responders' in terms of a good cytokine response to IFNb. This 'good cytokine' response is one of the immune indicators for a clinically defined responder to interferonb. We are also trying to increase the levels of a key immune protein that is low in cells from Multiple Sclerosis patients. We are going to block the actions of a different protein in cells to see if we can increase the key immune protein. We think that if this protein goes back to normal levels then it may reduce inflammation in Multiple Sclerosis.

Award Date
21 October 2016
Award Value
€326,679
Principal Investigator
Professor Marion Butler
Host Institution
Maynooth University
Scheme
Health Research Awards