SITGES, Spain — 11 July 2017
Global biotherapeutics leader CSL Behring today announced at the Peripheral Nerve Society’s annual meeting the winners of its annual Interlaken Leadership Awards. There are two 2017 recipients of this global awards program which provides monetary grants and/or product supply for investigational use to support research focusing on the potential role of immunoglobulin (Ig) therapy in the treatment of neurological/neuromuscular disorders.
Dr. Maarten Titulaer, a neurologist at Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, will examine intravenous Ig (IVIG) treatment for autoimmune epilepsy (AE) with neuronal antibodies. Additionally, Dr. Jean-Philippe Camdessanché from Institut NeuroMyoGène, Faculty of Medicine CHU de Saint-Etienne, will study the identification, validation, and characterization of novel autoantigens in chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP).
As many as 500,000 people worldwide might suffer from epilepsy of autoimmune origin. Patients with AE have multiple seizures per month and are often unresponsive to anti-epileptic drugs. There has been a body of evidence indicating that IVIG may be effective in AE with neuronal antibodies and Dr. Titulaer’s study is designed to further evaluate this with a prospective design. “Our hope for research efforts like this is to be able to contribute to finding effective treatment options for autoimmune epilepsy patients with neuronal antibodies who are currently unresponsive to anti-epileptic drugs,” said Dr. Titulaer.
While it is accepted that CIDP is immune mediated, the target antigen for the pathogenic autoantibodies is known for very few patients. Dr. Camdessanché’s research objective is to help close this knowledge gap. Dr. Camdessanché noted, “The diagnosis of CIDP is complex and lasts an average of more than two years. We are using innovative strategies to find a biomarker that can reduce this long time span in order to begin much earlier with targeted therapies.”
“The Interlaken Leadership Awards program symbolizes CSL Behring’s promise to unlock the potential and promise of therapies that may improve the quality of life and treatment options for patients living with a neurological disorder,” commented Karen MacPhail, Senior Director, Immunology, CSL Behring. She adds, “We are excited to see the results of Dr. Titulaer’s and Dr. Camdessanché’s research and are hopeful that new discoveries will be made that can advance the treatment of AE and CIDP.”
This program has awarded over $5 million in grants and study drug over the past seven years for researching Ig therapy in a variety of neurological/neuromuscular disorders including idiopathic inflammatory myositis, neuromyelitis optica, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, complex regional pain syndrome, paraneoplastic syndromes, autoimmune peripheral neuropathies, Guillain-Barré syndrome and neuromuscular junction disorders such as myasthenia gravis and Lambert Eaton Myasthenic Syndrome.
The global review committee seeks proposals likely to advance innovative medical research and knowledge about the potential role of Ig therapy to improve the lives of patients who have disabling neurological/neuromuscular conditions. All proposals received for the Interlaken Leadership Awards program are evaluated based on scientific merit, strength of hypothesis, relevance to neuroimmunology and feasibility.
About CSL Behring
CSL Behring is a global biotherapeutics leader driven by its promise to save lives. Focused on serving patients’ needs by using the latest technologies, we develop and deliver innovative therapies that are used to treat coagulation disorders, primary immune deficiencies, hereditary angioedema, inherited respiratory disease, and neurological disorders. The company's products are also used in cardiac surgery, organ transplantation, burn treatment and to prevent hemolytic disease of the newborn.
CSL Behring operates one of the world's largest plasma collection networks, CSL Plasma. The parent company, CSL Limited (ASX:CSL), headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, employs nearly 20,000 people, delivering its life-saving therapies to people in more than 60 countries. For more information visit www.cslbehring.com and follow us on www.Twitter.com/CSLBehring.
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