WHO CARES ABOUT GENES?
ANCHOR LEAD: IDENTIFICATION OF MORE GENES RELATED TO MS CAN BE IMPORTANT CLINICALLY, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
If finding genes related to MS doesn’t help determine who’s at risk for developing the condition, what are they good for? Peter Calabresi, an MS expert at Johns Hopkins, explains.
CALABRESI: It’s important because they provide therapeutic targets, for example, the IL2 receptor, is the target of a drug we’re actively studying in phase 2 clinical trials, and there’s a monoclonal antibody that can be targeted to that receptor and block it’s function. One of the drugs that does that, declizamab, has shown promise in phase 2 clinical trials and is moving into phase 3 clinical trials in MS. This is exciting because we have a gene that is implicated and we can target it specifically with a monoclonal antibody therapy. :29
Targeted therapies are especially attractive because they help minimize unintended consequences of drugs or interventions elsewhere in the body, and may also ameliorate long term side effects of therapy. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.