Until a cure for multiple sclerosis is found (and brilliant minds are searching for the cure) we will live with progression of the disease and its symptoms. MS-specific treatments for progression are available with mixed results, but available nonetheless. Very few disease-specific drugs are out there for the symptoms of MS, however. An announcement today may give rise to a treatment directed at MS spasticity and MS pain.
There are, of course, drugs which are currently prescribed by doctors to combat said MS symptoms. All of them, however, were originally developed for other uses and have side effects which can make some of our other MS symptoms — specifically, fatigue and coordination — worse while having limited effect on the intended target symptom of MS.
The National MS Society’s Fast Forward, LLC announced today that they have granted three-quarters of a million dollars in assistance to Concert Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to get the drug (with the decidedly UN-sexy working name of C-21191) into testing phases more quickly.
The way that Fast Forward (National MS Society’s subsidiary devoted to bridging the gap between research and drug development) works is they raise funds for this specific type of drug research, peer review dozens of applications (from both scientific and business perspectives), and invest relatively small amounts of money in hopeful treatments in order to attract other investors which can move drugs through the entire process at rates significantly faster than without the help.
Fast Forward then takes stock in the return (if the drug proves successful) in order to fund its next ventures. It is not a model which stands alone in the non-profit disease support world, but it is not what anyone would call “common” either.
C-21191 is a reformulated version of another compound (L-838417) which showed early promise but did not pan out in expanded human trials. This chemically-modified “cousin” drug, C-21191, shows better hope of working in the human body.
It will still take years to get through the clinical trial process for safety and efficacy, but without Fast Forward’s investment, Concert may have taken even longer (if ever) to get the drug from bench to market (and into doctor’s and patient’s bandolier of treatment options).
I am at the National MS Society’s Public Policy conference in Washington, D.C. this week. I’ll try to post in a timely fashion, but if I’m a little off schedule, I beg your indulgence (and if you are at the conference, I’d LOVE to meet you!).
Wishing you and your family the best of health.
Don’t forget that you can also follow me via my Life With MS Facebook page and on Twitter. Check out our bi-monthly blog I’m doing for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of the United Kingdom, A Yank’s Life With MS, as well as our very special new monthly blog for the National MS Society.
Reposted from: everydayHEALTH