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Dr. Moses Rodriguez, MD, Director of the Center for Multiple Sclerosis and Central Nervous System Demyelinating Diseases Research and Therapeutics at the Mayo Clinic, presented a Grand Rounds lecture at the Tisch MS Research Center of New York on Feb. 20, 2013. Entitled, "CNS Regeneration by Human Natural Monoclonal Antibodies," Dr. Rodriguez's presentation spoke to a topic of keen interest to Tisch MS researchers. Whereas our research into reparative strategies has focused on infusions of autologous stem cells differentiated by their neuroprogenerative properties, Dr. Rodriguez's approach has been to stimulate remyelination using modified and monoclonalized natural human antibodies.
Pre-clinical testing of neurite-promoting antibodies has demonstrated their ability to bind to neurons and promote functional improvement in the chronic axonal degenerative phase of demyelinating disease. Studied in greater depth, the IgM-derived antibody rHIgM22 has been shown in mouse, rabbit, and primate animal studies to promote spontaneous remyelination in oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells across multiple models of demyelination. Moreover, no toxicity has been observed in any animal studies even when antibody dosages administered approached 1000x the therapeutic dose. On this basis the FDA approved Dr. Rodriguez submission of rHIgM22 as an Investigational New Drug (IND), with phase I clinical trials scheduled to begin in mid-2013. Further information about those trials will be posted at clinicaltrials.gov.