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Canbex and Ipsen Announce Funding to Start Phase II Trial of Oral VSN16R for MS Spasticity, Moving Preclinical Work Funded by National MS Society to Clinical Trials

February 24, 2015

Canbex Therapeutics Ltd. and Ipsen have announced a funding agreement that will support a phase II study to continue testing the safety and effectiveness of its oral compound, VSN16R, for treating spasticity in people with MS. 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 muscle weakness, sedation, or alteration in mood, which can occur with current treatments. With support from the National MS Society through Fast Forward, Canbex completed toxicity studies in rodents, one of the final steps needed before bringing this molecule to human testing.

According to Canbex, a phase I study in 72 healthy subjects showed VSN16R to be safe and tolerable. The phase II trial will be designed to determine the effectiveness of this treatment in people with MS. The phase II and eventual phase III trials are necessary steps before this therapy can be approved for treating spasticity, and will help determine whether VSN16R is a safe and effective treatment for MS spasticity.

These results are an example of how, by connecting people, ideas, and resources, the National MS Society is helping promising treatments to break through barriers, move through the pipeline, and enter clinical trials -- faster. As an important part of the National MS Society’s research infrastructure, investments through Fast Forward continue to rapidly close the gap between promising discoveries and the commercial development necessary to get new treatments to people with MS.

Read more about managing MS spasticity
Read more about the Society’s investments to drive commercial research

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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