The immune system forms and maintains the ectopic B-cell follicles in the brain & spinal cord by producing a cocktail of immune messengers called cytokines. One of these messengers is called lymphotoxin; if you inhibit or neutralise lymphotoxin you dissolve B-cell follicles. We were very excited when Biogen-Idec annoucned they were going to do a trial in SPMS with an inhibitor of lymphotoxin called Baminercept. This drug is very clever indeed; it is a soluble form of the lymphotoxin receptor that mops up lymphotoxin and dissolves germinal centers:
The bad news, particularly for PwSPMS, Biogen-Idec pulled the plug on the trial before the first patient was dosed.
"The fact that this trial is not going ahead is very disappointing. The ectopic B cell follicles are a very exciting and rational drug target in progressive MS. If anybody knows the reason why Biogen-Idec stopped the trial and are willing to share this information with us please post a comment?"