Studies of Anakinra and Tolebrutinib in MS Paramagnetic Rim Lesions: Jemima Akinsanya, DO


The Neuroimmunology Clinical Fellow at the National Institutes of Health discussed the evaluations of 2 therapies in multiple sclerosis that she is partaking in.

“It's very disheartening as a clinician to not be able to provide more options for [patients with progressive MS]. It’s a huge quality of life hindrance for patients that to be able to provide them with treatments that can help slow the neurodegeneration and not just the acute inflammation would have a huge impact on them. So, I'm excited for that.”

A new phase 2a clinical trial paradigm for multiple sclerosis (MS) is underway, with 2 open-label studies evaluating the effects of anakinra (NCT04025554) and tolebrutinib on 7-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) paramagnetic rim lesions (PRL).1 The studies were presented at the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum, February 25-27, by first author Jemima Akinsanya, DO, neuroimmunology clinical fellow, National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Anakinra, approved by the FDA for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease in 2001, is a recombinant human interleukin-1 receptor antagonist.2 Tolebrutinib is an investigational, orally available, brain-penetrant Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor. Although the study for anakinara is already underway, the study for tolebrutinib is currently enrolling.

NeurologyLive spoke with Akinsanya to learn more about anakinra and tolebrutinib as well as the 2 studies in the clinical program. She also discussed further research she would like to see conducted in progressive MS.

For more coverage of ACTRIMS Forum 2021, click here.

1. Akinsanya J, Absinta M, Dargah-zade N, et al. Toward the use of paramagnetic rim lesions in proof-of-concept clinical trials for treating chronic inflammation in multiple sclerosis. Presented at ACTRIMS Annual Forum; February 25-27, 2021. Poster P126.
2. Kineret® (anakinra) for injection, for subcutaneous use. FDA label. Updated December 2012. Accessed March 24, 2021.
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