Grey Matter (5) & B Cells: Baminercept in SPMS

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:

Gommerman et al. J Clin Invest. 2002 Nov;110(9):1359-69.

For the good news click here to see  the trial design: <baminercept SPMS trial>

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?"

CoI: Multiple