According to a news release from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), new, positive data has been released regarding a drug candidate for relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). The treatment was reportedly first discovered and created at TSRI.

A 6-month Phase 2 study encompassing 258 MS patients suggested that the treatment candidate, RPC1063, reduced the annual relapse rate of participants with MS by up to 53%, compared with a placebo. The release notes that the potential therapy also decreased the emergence of new brain damage seen by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) by more than 90%.

The release adds that safety results indicated a favorable risk-benefit profile. More than 98% of patients remained on the treatment regimen. The RPC1063 treatment was pinpointed by a “hit” from an National Institutes of Health molecular library during research at Scripps Florida’s Molecular Screening Center. The compound was then created and further developed in the laboratories of Scripps California Professors Ed Roberts, PhD, and Hugh Rosen, MD, PhD.

Rosen adds, “These data support our labs’ approach at TSRI that discovery of fundamental mechanisms in chemical biology provides the foundation for intelligent intervention in disease processes…”

Patrick Griffin, chair of the Department of Molecular Therapeutics and director of the Translational Research Institute at Scripps Florida, echoes Rosen’s sentiment, calling the development “an exciting outcome resulting from research within the Scripps Florida Molecular Screen Center. We expect many other programs that Scripps Florida has been involved in will have similar potential to improve human health.”

The release states that the new RPC1063 findings were recently presented at the MS Boston 2014 meeting.

The release also reports that Receptos, a San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company that licensed technology from TSRI, is developing RPC1063 for approval by the US Food and Drug Administration. The treatment candidate is currently in a Phase 3 randomized, double-blind study involving 1,200 relapsing MS patients. Trial completion is expected in 2017.

Source(s): Science Daily, Scripps Research Institute