Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients suffer from symptoms such as vision impairment, balance disorders and eventually paralysis, severely affecting their quality of life.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory, demyelinating autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS). It is a complex disease engaging interaction of CNS resident cells (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, neurons, and microglia), and immunological-inflammatory cells (T cells, B cells, and macrophages). Myelin-specific T cells are believed to play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of MS; the presence of circulating myelin-reactive T cells in MS patients has been extensively reported. The specific mechanisms that cause the activation and entrance of these cells into the CNS are so far unknown, but several theories around immune-modulating factors are investigated. For example, the gut microbiota has been suggested to have an influence on immune function in MS and has been found to change with disease activity (Correale et al, Nature reviews neurology, 2022; Thirion et al, Genome medicine, 2023).



MS affects approximately 2.8 million people worldwide, predominantly women. It is a very heterogeneous disease with many different symptoms and disabilities and most patients experience a progression of disabilities over time. Common symptoms include loss of vision, loss of power in an arm or leg or an increasing sense of numbness in the legs. Additional common symptoms linked with MS include fatigue, spasms, incontinence, sexual dysfunction, walking difficulties and depression.

Disease-modifying therapies have had profound effect on the management of MS, but while they may lessen symptoms and reduce relapses – most current drugs produce only partial improvement of the accumulation of disability. Patients still go through relapses and need life-long treatment.

In addition to efficacy, there is a need to develop better tolerated therapies that are safer for patients. Many current therapies are associated with a higher risk of serious side effects.

More convenient routes of administration and decreased dosing frequency are also unmet needs within the MS market. Most first-line treatments need to be administered as infusions or injections at high frequencies, which can be inconvenient for the patients.

In summary, there is an unmet medical need for safe, convenient, highly efficient drugs that decrease the accumulation of disability in MS.

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