BTK Inhibitors in the Management of Relapse and Progressive MS: Amit Bar-Or, MD, FRCPC, FAAN, FANA


At CMSC 2023, the Melissa and Paul Anderson President’s Distinguished Professor of Neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, talked about the phase 2 trials that show promising results for BTK inhibitors as a potential MS therapy. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

"The prospect of BTK inhibition is that the same medication, which is a small molecule and can access the central nervous system, will act both in the periphery on relapse biology, but also in the [central nervous system] compartment of the progressive biology. If this indeed proves to be the case from the phase 3 trials that are ongoing, then this may be a very important addition to the MS treatment armamentarium."

The current treatment for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have shown to reduce both relapses and worsen disability related to relapses; however, the approved therapies have demonstrated less effectiveness at slowing disability accumulation among patients. According to recent research, Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTKs) inhibitors seem to show as a promising treatment in MS. The inhibitors, which are intracellular signaling molecules, might curtail the disease progression by targeting immune cells on both sides of the blood-brain barrier.1

Amit Bar-Or, MD, FRCPC, FAAN, FANA, the Melissa and Paul Anderson President’s Distinguished Professor at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, cochaired and presented in a symposium about BTK inhibitors as a novel treatment approach for managing MS at the 2023 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Annual Meeting, held May 31 to June 3, in Aurora, Colorado. The rest of the symposium discussed topics by Bar-Or and colleagues such as what is known so far about BTK inhibitors and what is to be expected of them in MS.2

Following his presentation, Bar-Or sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® to provide an overview of the discussion topics that were covered in the symposium as well as shared the main highlights. He talked about how the BTK inhibitors target the immune cells and their potential role in the MS paradigm. Bar-Or also spoke about preliminary findings from trials investigating the BTK inhibitors and how imaging techniques can help in assessing the effectiveness of the inhibitors on both relapse and progressive biology in MS.

Click here for more coverage of CMSC 2023.

1. Krämer J, Bar-Or A, Turner TJ, Wiendl H. Bruton tyrosine kinase inhibitors for multiple sclerosis. Nat Rev Neurol. 2023;19(5):289-304. doi:10.1038/s41582-023-00800-7
2. Bar-Or A. Why Bruton Tyrosine Kinase Inhibition as a Novel Approach to MS
Management? Presented at: 2023 CMSC Annual Meeting; held May 31-June 3; Aurora, CO. Can a Novel DMT Class Deliver Better Outcomes in MS? ISS5.
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