Dirucotide (MBP8298)

Dirucotide (MBP8298) was a drug that was tested as a treatment for both relapsing remitting and progressive MS.  After disappointing trial results, development of the drug was ended in 2009.

Dirucotide is a copy of myelin basic protein (MBP). This protein occurs in the myelin around nerves. In MS the immune system doesn't recognise that myelin is part of the body and attacks it. Dirucotide is thought to act by making the immune system ignore MBP. It was given as a drip (intravenous infusion).

Dirucotide research

Secondary progressive MS

In a phase II clinical trial, 32 people with progressive MS received MBP8298 every six months for two years. No difference in progression was found between people taking MBP8298 and a group given a placebo.  In a subset of people with certain HLA types - genes that help the immune system to tell the difference between the body's own tissue and foreign invaders - MBP8298 did slow the time to the progression.

A phase III study in secondary progressive MS found that dirucotide didn't delay disease progression, as measured by EDSS or a number of other measures.

Relapsing remitting MS

In a separate phase II clinical trial in people with relapsing remitting MS, dirucotide didn't reduce the relapse rate or show benefits in MRI scans.

Based on these results, in July 2009, Eli Lilly and BioMS Medical, the companies developing dirucotide, decided to end further studies. Some research into dirucotide is continuing elsewhere.

Warren KG, et al.
Intravenous synthetic peptide MBP8298 delayed disease progression in an HLA Class II-defined cohort of patients with progressive multiple sclerosis: results of a 24-month double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial and 5 years of follow-up treatment.
European Journal of Neurology 2006; 13(8): 887-895.
Summary (link is external)
Freedman MS, et al.
A phase III study evaluating the efficacy and safety of MBP8298 in secondary progressive MS.
Neurology 2011; 77(16): 1551-1560.
Summary (link is external)
Loo EW, Krantz MJ, Agrawal B.
High dose antigen treatment with a peptide epitope of myelin basic protein modulates T cells in multiple sclerosis patients.
Cell Immunology 2012 Nov;280(1):10-5.
Summary (link is external)
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