BioNTech is Applying mRNA Vaccine Technology to Treat Multiple Sclerosis
BioNTech, a German biotechnology company that is working with Pfizer to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, reports that they are using the same technology to develop a therapeutic approach to multiple sclerosis (MS). Researchers treated mice with MS-like disease, termed experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis or ‘EAE mice’, with a specialized messenger RNA (called m1Ψ mRNA) coding for MS disease-related autoantigens as an approach to prevent the immune system from attacking myelin and found they could suppress or reduce the severity of MS-like disease. The EAE treated mice showed that further disease progression could be prevented, with a reduction in demyelination in the spinal cord and restoration of motor functions without complete suppression of the immune system. This research is published in the journal, Science in January 2021. While promising, this early-stage research in mice will require considerable testing before it can be translated to humans.
For more information on this breakthrough research, listen to the Global News Radio interview with Dr. Mark Freedman, Senior Scientist, Neuroscience Program, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute; Professor of Medicine, Neurology, University of Ottawa; Director, Multiple Sclerosis Research Unit, Neurology:
GLOBAL NEWS RADIO – Geoff Currier - The possibility of a vaccine for MS (36:48) –- https://omny.fm/shows/geoff-currier/go-jets-go?t=36m51s
- FierceBiotech – BioNTech CEO applies COVID-19 vaccine’s mRNA tech to multiple sclerosis - https://www.fiercebiotech.com/research/biontech-ceo-turns-covid-19-vaccine-s-mrna-tech-against-multiple-sclerosis
- Scientific Article: A noninflammatory mRNA vaccine for treatment of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, Science, 08 Jan 2021; Vol. 371, Issue 6525 pp 145-153.
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