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RNA profiling to determine prognosis in multiple sclerosis (MS)

Studies of patient samples identified a transcriptional signature that could help determine MS prognosis. Microarray data were generated for peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) isolated from 363 patients with MS who were previously untreated or who had received interferon-b (IFNB; IFN-b) or Copaxone glatiramer acetate. Unsupervised computational clustering of the subgroup of 141 previously untreated patients identified 2 distinct gene expression signatures that were correlated with significantly different rates of disease activity (Cox proportional hazard ratio 0.6; p=0.0077). Next steps include performing transcriptional analysis of subsets of purified blood cells.

Copaxone glatiramer acetate is marketed by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. to treat MS.
Biogen Idec Inc. markets Avonex interferon beta-1a, Bayer AG markets Betaseron interferon beta-1b and the Merck Serono S.A. division of Merck KGaA and Pfizer Inc. market Rebif interferon beta-1a to treat MS.

SciBX 5(40); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1070
Published online Oct. 11, 2012

Unpatented; licensing status not applicable

Ottoboni, L. et al. Sci. Transl. Med.;
published online Sept. 26, 2012;
Contact: Philip L. De Jager, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Mass.