Repair of demyelinated axons requires activation of the genetic and cellular programs to promote remyelination in existing or newly recruited oligodendrocyte precursor cells. This is a very complex process. However, a protein Lingo is a natural inhibitor or remyelination and is therefore a therapeutic target in MS. Investigators have shown that anti-LINGO-1 reagents promote remyelination in cell cultures and in animal models of MS. As a result of this work it appears that Biogen-Idec are doing a phase 1 safety study in MS to see if this strategy is safe to take forward.
In response to the query regarding anti-Lingo:
“The good news is that there are strategies to promote repair that are being tried in MS!”
COI: I have received consulting fees from Biogen-Idec in relation to several DMTs, but not their anti-Lingo programme.