MetrioPharm at the ECTRIMS Conference in Berlin
In October you attended the ECTRIMS conference for MetrioPharm. What was your impression?
Dr. Sara Schumann: The conference is immense. This year there were more than 9000 participants who met in Berlin. One can say that this international conference is the most important forum for researchers and clinicians on multiple sclerosis (MS).
Dr. Astrid Kaiser: Many MS therapies already available today were presented. Of course, we can learn a lot from these post-marketing studies as they clearly show the advantages and disadvantages of currently available drugs.
What kind of results did you present for MetrioPharm?
Dr. Sara Schumann: We have tested MP1032 in several preclinical models – so called EAE models. We were able to show a positive effect in both prophylactic and therapeutic use. We have repeated these experiments several times and due to their reproducibility the results are very reliable. We have also seen clear dosage effects. The measured effect correlates with the dosage of MP1032. Thus we know that the effect is caused by the drug. In addition, in a positive control we were able to show that MP1032 was just as effective in this model as dimethylfumarate.
What is dimethylfumarate?
Dr. Astrid Kaiser: This substance is already being used very successfully in the treatment of multiple sclerosis – and also in psoriasis. However, dimethylfumarate is associated with gastrointestinal side effects that we have not observed in MP1032 so far. MP1032 could therefore become a more tolerable alternative.
For readers who do not deal with drug regulatory affairs on a daily basis: Where does MetrioPharm stand with the approval of MP1032 for this indication?
Dr. Astrid Kaiser: Approval for neurodegenerative diseases is particularly time-consuming. The clinical trials are considerably longer and more cost-intensive than in many other indications. For this reason, we are currently focusing our clinical program on chronic inflammatory diseases such as psoriasis. Here we have already reached clinical phase II.
And finally: What is your conclusion on this year’s ECTRIMS conference?
Dr. Sara Schumann: The conference was an important first step for us to present our own preclinical research results. For one thing at the conference itself and also in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal Online.