Fast Forward, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s subsidiary and Canbex Therapeutics, Ltd., announced a partnership to fund pivotal studies that will support an investigational new drug (IND) application for Canbex’s VSN16R compound. VSN16R is a small molecule compound that has shown good evidence of anti-spastic effects in laboratory models of MS and spasticity. VSN16R works through a novel mechanism of action that does not appear to cause unwanted side effects. VSN16R has the potential to develop into a well tolerated, effective therapy that could make a substantial difference to the quality of life for patients suffering from this chronic and crippling disease.
The agreement with Canbex is the first collaboration between Fast Forward and an early stage biotechnology company to advance a specific symptom treatment for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Many people with MS experience spasticity that may be associated with pain or tightness in muscles and joints which can cause difficulty walking or doing daily activities. Current treatments for spasticity can often cause significant side effects, such as muscle weakness, fatigue and drowsiness, that often limit their application in MS.
Under the terms of the agreement, Fast Forward will provide funds for studies that will accelerate the testing of VSN16R clinical trials.
“We are delighted to work with Fast Forward on the development of our lead compound, VSN16R, in the very important area of muscle spasticity in MS,” Stephane Mery, PhD, chief executive officer of Canbex, said in a news release. “Fast Forward is a partner of choice in this field and its support is a testament to the importance of the breakthrough that our compound could bring to MS patients all over the world.”
“We are pleased to partner with Canbex to accelerate the development of an innovative new approach to address a key unmet need for treating MS,” Timothy Coetzee PhD, Fast Forward’s president, said in a news release.