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CMSC INforMS: Can We Vaccinate Against PML in Multiple Sclerosis?

Monday, December 21, 2015  
Posted by: Elizabeth Porco
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“Both active vaccination/treatment with major capsid protein VP1 of JC polyoma virus and passive vaccination/treatment with broadly neutralizing antibodies are in principle feasible and ready for clinical development. Hence, one could develop a treatment and prophylaxis for this devastating disease that is so far not treatable,” Dr Martin said.

In another study, Christopher Buck, PhD, senior investigator at the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD, and colleagues were able to demonstrate that plasma samples from patients with PML were not able to neutralize PML mutant JC polyomavirus strains, whereas healthy subjects' serological results indicated that most were able to neutralize all of the tested JC polyomavirus variants. Further, they demonstrated that mice given a JC polyomavirus virus-like particle vaccine too showed “blind spots” in their ability to neutralize similarly to patients with PML. Buck and colleagues go on to report on a patient with PML who received an experimental JC polyomavirus virus-like particle vaccine and demonstrated an increase in the neutralizing titer.2  

“A virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine against JCV seems very likely to prevent PML. All available evidence indicates that the JCV VLP vaccine will be at least as safe and effective as current VLP vaccines against HPVs,” Dr Buck told Neurology Advisor. “At this point, the goal of our work is to elicit industry interest in developing and marketing a JCV vaccine.” 

“Both active vaccination/treatment with major capsid protein VP1 of JC polyoma virus and passive vaccination/treatment with broadly neutralizing antibodies are in principle feasible and ready for clinical development. Hence, one could develop a treatment and prophylaxis for this devastating disease that is so far not treatable,” Dr Martin said.

In another study, Christopher Buck, PhD, senior investigator at the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, MD, and colleagues were able to demonstrate that plasma samples from patients with PML were not able to neutralize PML mutant JC polyomavirus strains, whereas healthy subjects' serological results indicated that most were able to neutralize all of the tested JC polyomavirus variants. Further, they demonstrated that mice given a JC polyomavirus virus-like particle vaccine too showed “blind spots” in their ability to neutralize similarly to patients with PML. Buck and colleagues go on to report on a patient with PML who received an experimental JC polyomavirus virus-like particle vaccine and demonstrated an increase in the neutralizing titer.2  

“A virus-like particle (VLP) vaccine against JCV seems very likely to prevent PML. All available evidence indicates that the JCV VLP vaccine will be at least as safe and effective as current VLP vaccines against HPVs,” Dr Buck told Neurology Advisor. “At this point, the goal of our work is to elicit industry interest in developing and marketing a JCV vaccine.”  

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