Immunic Inc. Announces Promising Pre-Clinical Findings for Multiple Sclerosis

This week PR Newswire carried an announcement by the biotechnology company Immunic Inc. of preclinical data confirming that Vidofludimus Calcium (IMU 838) may be a Nurr 1-Activator reinforcement.

Immunic is focused on the development of orally administered therapies, primarily small molecules, for autoimmune and chronic inflammatory diseases.

IMU 838 has the potential to prevent loss of neurologic function and nerve cells (neurodegeneration) for Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases.

As set forth in a recent peer review Journal of a Medicinal Chemistry article, preclinical data confirms potent Nurr 1 activation by vidofludimus calcium at low levels of concentration in various tests.

About Dopamine’s Effect on the Brain

Dopamine, an influential neurotransmitter, affects significant areas of the brain. A deficiency of this substance results in serious consequences such as the death of dopamine-producing nerve cells.

These nerve cells are located in the substantia nigra which is defined as a layer of gray matter in the midbrain causing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Professor Daniel Merk of Munich’s Maximilians University said that Nurr 1 is a promising target in the realm of Parkinson’s and MS. The professor further added that their models, structurally related molecules and vidofludimus calcium, are regarded as the most potent Nurr1 molecules.

The neuroprotective characteristics of Nurr 1 indicate a wide therapeutic potential for the ‘transcription factor’, a critical control point using information from a gene to develop a protein.

Transcription is further defined by a gene’s DNA sequence being transcribed into an RNA molecule.

Immunic’s Chief Scientific Officer stated that its phase two EMPhASIS study identified vidofludimus calcium’s neuroprotective properties. The Disease was classified as ‘relapsed/remitting’ referring to inflammatory attacks damaging localized areas and producing MS symptoms.

He further stated that the data from the EMPhASIS trial proved to be encouraging in that it signaled the prevention of progressive disability and a reduction of the neurofilament light chain biomarker.

What is Vidofludimus calcium (IMU–838)?

Vidofludimus calcium (IMU–838), currently in phase 3 trials, is a potent dihydroorotate dehydrogenase oral immunosuppressant (immunomodulator) that reduces the activity of the immune system throughout the body.

IMU-838 acts against hyperactive B and T cells but avoids other immune cells. Thus, it enables normal immune function. It is an inhibitor of the DHODH enzyme which is key to the metabolism of virus-infected cells and overactive immune cells.

Over 1,400 people have been tested with vidofludimus calcium which has shown a positive tolerability and safety profile. So far it has not been licensed in any country.



Rose Duesterwald

Rose Duesterwald

Rose became acquainted with Patient Worthy after her husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) six years ago. During this period of partial remission, Rose researched investigational drugs to be prepared in the event of a relapse. Her husband died February 12, 2021 with a rare and unexplained occurrence of liver cancer possibly unrelated to AML.

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