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Canbex Announces Start of Phase I Trial of Oral VSN16R in Healthy Subjects, Moving Preclinical Work Funded by National MS Society to Clinical Trials

November 4, 2013

Canbex Therapeutics Ltd. announced that it is beginning a phase I study in 72 healthy subjects, the first stage of determining the safety and effectiveness of its oral compound, VSN16R, for treating spasticity in people with MS (Canbex press release, November 4, 2013).  The agreement with Canbex was one of the National MS Society’s first commercial collaborations through Fast Forward, and the first to advance a specific symptom treatment for MS.

Spasticity is a common and often painful symptom of MS that involves feelings of stiffness, tightness or sudden movements caused by a wide range of involuntary muscle spasms. Canbex identified a candidate that alleviates muscle spasticity in mice with an MS-like disease. The molecule – VSN16R – stimulates novel cell docking sites and relieves spasticity in mice without causing side effects such as flaccidity, sedation or mood alteration, which can occur with current treatments. With support from the National MS Society through Fast Forward, Canbex completed toxicity studies in rats, one of the final steps needed before bringing this molecule to human testing.

The partnership with Canbex is part of the Society’s relentless research effort to find solutions for everyone affected by MS. This trial, and further phase II and Phase III studies, will help determine whether VSN16R has potential to be developed into a safe and effective treatment for MS spasticity to improve quality of life of people with MS. These results are an example of how, by connecting people, ideas, and resources, the Society is helping promising treatments to break through barriers, move through the pipeline, and enter clinical trials -- faster.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


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