Monoclonal Antibody Shows Promise as Multiple Sclerosis Treatment

Glunomab may inhibit the progression of motor disorders associated with multiple sclerosis.

A team of researchers recently developed a monoclonal antibody that may have therapeutic effects against multiple sclerosis (MS).

Cells of the immune cells that circulate in the bloodstream need to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, as well as the blood-spinal cord barrier, in order to reach the central nervous system.

In a previous study, researchers from Inserm Unit 919 used a mouse model of stroke to examine the NMDA receptor involved in opening the blood-brain barrier. The results of the study showed that by blocking the interaction of NMDA with tPA, it had beneficial effects associated with maintaining the integrity of the blood-brain barrier.

In the current study published in Brain, researchers sought to develop a strategy that blocks NMDA and tPA interaction in multiple sclerosis. They were able to create a monoclonal antibody called Glunomab, which was directed against the site on the NMDA receptor that tPA binds.

When the antibody was used in cellular models of the human blood-brain and blood-spinal cord barriers, it prevented the barrier from opening under inflammatory conditions, and resulted in the reduced infiltration of lymphocytes.

Next, researchers tested Glunomab’s therapeutic effects in an experimental mouse model of MS through intravenous injection. After the injection, researchers found that the progression of motor disorders was blocked (as assessed by a clinical score).

The treatment was associated with reduced entry of lymphocytes in the nervous tissue of mice, and caused the reduction of demyelination, resulting in the prevention of myelin destruction by immune system cells.

Authors noted that the findings indicate a promising therapy for managing MS, with a patent application filed for this research.