MND Scotland starts new trial of Interleukin-2 for ALS

9th August 2018 (Last Updated August 12th, 2019 10:38)

MND Scotland has launched a new clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of Interleukin-2, which is used for some types of cancer, as well as the treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or motor neurone disease (MND).

MND Scotland starts new trial of Interleukin-2 for ALS
New trial is launched to test Interleukin-2 for the treatment of motor neurone disease. Credit: Euan MacDonald Centre.

MND Scotland has launched a new clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of Interleukin-2, which is used for some types of cancer, as well as the treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or motor neurone disease (MND).

The trial, titled Modifying Immune Response and Outcomes in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (MIROCALS), is currently being conducted in the UK and France.

It is enrolling patients in Glasgow, Scotland, with an aim to focus on the types of immune cells in the blood, which are capable of influencing the speed at which ALS progresses.

These immune cells, known as Regulatory T-Cells, are believed to play an important role in protecting the motor neurones.

Interleukin-2, which is naturally produced in the body, has the ability to increase the production of these special immune cells in the blood.

"This will be a tremendous help in reaching our recruitment target faster and thus being able to complete the whole study as soon as possible."

MIROCALS chief trial investigator said: “This will be a tremendous help in reaching our recruitment target faster and thus being able to complete the whole study as soon as possible.

“Our main goal is to find a new treatment to slow down the progression of ALS, but this project will also deliver many new insights into the disease, and make a major contribution to improving future trials in ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders.”

Queen Elizabeth University Hospital consultant neurologist Dr George Gorrie will lead the trial in Scotland, which will receive parts of its funding from MND Scotland.

MND Scotland has previously made a commitment to provide more than £1.5m for MND drug trials in Scotland, with MIROCALS being their first investment.