The first in-human study has begun on an investigational drug that researchers hope will one day be an approved treatment to repair myelin destroyed by MS. The drug, Biogen Idec's anti-LINGO-1 antibody, is designed to block a protein called LINGO-1 that interferes with the body's production of myelin.
In this Phase 1 trial, the safety and tolerability of the antibody, known as BIIB033, will be evaluated in 64 healthy adult volunteers in the Netherlands. In previous studies, the drug has shown promise in treating the effects of EAE, the mouse model of MS. More myelin growth occurred closer to the site of the antibody application in the mice, suggesting BIIB033 was responsible for the change.
Regeneration would be significant for people who already have nerve damage from MS as well as those whose disease continues to progress regardless of treatment.