The medication ozanimod is showing good results in studies with multiple sclerosis.
Ozanimod’s ability to inhibit brain atrophy promises patients a long and productive life
Ozanimod was developed by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), it is a novel, oral, selective sphingosine 1-phosphate 1 (S1PR1) and 5 (S1PR5) receptor modulator, and was compared to the first-line treatment, Avonex (interferon beta-1a) (IFN), in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS).
RMS is the most common type of multiple sclerosis. Treating inflammation in RMS patients is key to reducing their disease relapses. Ozanimod blocks sources of inflammation in RMS by acting as a sphingosine 1-phosphate 1 (S1PR1) receptor agonist.
The RADIANCE Part B study evaluated two doses (1 mg and 0.5 mg) of oral ozanimod compared with IFN in 1,320 patients with RMS in 21 countries treated for two years. The SUNBEAM study evaluated two doses (1 mg and 0.5 mg) of oral ozanimod in 1,346 patients with RMS in 20 countries treated for at least one year.
Ozanimod demonstrated a significant reduction in new or enlarging T2 lesions over one year for 1 mg (48 percent, p < 0.0001) and 0.5 mg (25 percent, p=0.0032) compared with IFN. A significant reduction in gadolinium-enhanced MRI lesions at 1 year was also demonstrated for ozanimod 1 mg (63 percent, p < 0.0001) and ozanimod 0.5 mg (34 percent, p=0.0182) compared with IFN. Ozanimod significantly slowed the loss of brain volume compared with IFN–a hallmark of the disease that causes brain atrophy, disease progression and cognitive impairment.
“Ozanimod’s ability to inhibit brain atrophy promises patients a long and productive life, living with relapsing, remitting multiple sclerosis without a disability,” said TSRI Professor of Molecular Medicine Dr Hugh Rosen, co-inventor of ozanimod. “This is truly disease-modifying.”
The design and development of ozanimod stems from basic research pursued in the TSRI laboratories of Rosen, Professor Edward Roberts, and Professor Michael B.A. Oldstone. The TSRI scientists discovered the fundamental mechanism of the S1PR1 receptor, developed the chemical tools to synthesise both agonists and antagonists of the receptor, discovered the role of the receptor in the immune system’s “cytokine storm” in pandemic influenza, and investigated the role of the receptor in type 1 diabetes.
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