Cop 1 as a candidate drug for multiple sclerosis
Copolymer 1 (Cop 1), a synthetic copolymer of amino acids, is very effective in suppression of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the animal model for multiple sclerosis (MS). Cop 1 was found incapable of inducing EAE, yet it suppressed EAE in a variety of animal species, including primates. The immunological cross-reaction between the myelin basic protein (MBP) and Cop 1 serves as the basis for the suppressive activity of Cop 1 in EAE, by the induction of antigen-specific suppressor cells and competition with MBP for binding to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. Clinical trials with Cop 1, both Phase II and Phase III, were performed in relapsing-remitting (E-R) patients. The latter, a two-year multi-center double blind trial with 251 participating patients was conducted at 11 leading medical centers in the USA. It demonstrated a significant beneficial effect of Cop 1 in both diminishing the rate of exacerbations and improving the clinical status. The side effects of Cop 1 were only minimal. The cumulative results indicate that Cop 1 is a promising candidate drug for multiple sclerosis.
KeywordsMultiple Sclerosis Major Histocompatibility Complex Multiple Sclerosis Patient Myelin Basic Protein Experimental Allergic Encephalomyelitis
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