Berlin (ots) –
In the search for a vaccine that could prevent the outbreak of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the future, science has made a decisive breakthrough. A research group from Harvard University was able to confirm the connection between an infection with the Epstein-Barr virus and the development of MS in a study. Thanks to pharmaceutical research, patients now have a large number of different active ingredients and therapy options at their disposal. Pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions are working to achieve further therapeutic advances. This is good news for World MS Day!
Without Epstein-Barr virus infection, there is no multiple sclerosis
“The scientific evidence now shows that without an Epstein-Barr virus infection, there is no onset of MS,” explains Dr. Pablo Serrano, Business Unit Manager for Innovation, Research and Biotechnology at the German Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry (BPI). The Harvard study also revealed that certain biomarkers – i.e. biological characteristics that can indicate pathological changes in the blood or in tissue samples – only change in connection with an EBV infection. And that many years earlier, before any clinical symptoms of the disease became visible.
“The goal of the pharmaceutical industry is to produce a vaccine that prevents natural infection with the Epstein-Barr virus. This would consequently counteract an outbreak of the chronic and relapsing inflammatory processes typical of MS and lead to fewer MS diseases. Unfortunately, MS is a very complex autoimmune disease that progresses differently in each patient. It can therefore be assumed that researchers will identify other triggers in the future,” emphasizes Serrano.
New MS therapies
In order to better understand the clinical picture, scientists are therefore continuing to research new forms of therapy. Recently, new drug therapies that are easy to take in pill form have emerged that can reduce the flare-ups that are typical of MS, explains Serrano.
MS patients also benefit from monoclonal antibodies. “The antibodies injected under the skin suppress inflammation and reduce the MS-typical flare-ups. As a result, associated disabilities such as visual, walking and balance disorders, spasticity or signs of paralysis can be stopped. The goal is to slow down the progression of the disease,” says Serrano.
You can find out more about multiple sclerosis in our topic service (https://www.bpi.de/de/themendienste/multiple-sklerose).
Andreas Aumann (press spokesman), Tel. 030 27909-123, [email protected]
Original content from: BPI Federal Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry, transmitted by news aktuell