Dear Supporters and Friends of MRF,
I last wrote to you to tell you about developments in each our areas of focus: Preparations for the 2015 annual research meeting, the progress we had made in finding a home for our myelin repair assays, and the progress of the MRF-008 clinical trial.
We have used the past two months to wrap up and complete all on-going research activities.
We brought our worldwide scientific team together here in Silicon Valley from November 10th to the 12th. The participants presented and discussed the latest research results on basic science, translational programs and clinical trials. In addition to our academic scientists and scientific advisors we invited eight individuals from commercial entities – a venture capitalist and an entrepreneur who are each interested in starting remyelination companies, and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries who is interested in neuroprotection and remyelination. Our advisory board members commented on how much progress has been made in myelin repair because of MRF and were proud of the impact that the MRF team has had.
We continued the wind down of our Translational Medicine Center (TMC). Our overarching goal as we worked to close the TMC was to ensure that our assays would be used for myelin repair research in the future by as many organizations as possible. To that end we documented each assay with detailed protocols, we wrote and submitted three scientific papers for publication, and we sought others whom we could train to use these complex and sophisticated analytical tools. We are pleased that Teva Pharmaceutical has adopted the suite of assays created over many years by MRF. It is gratifying to us that they are already being used by Teva in their drug discovery efforts.
In addition, like the MRF, Teva considers the MRF developed assays as an important resource for anyone involved in neuroprotection and myelin repair research. Teva views itself as a steward of that resource, and will train others who are interested in learning the techniques or possibly test compounds for others.
Closing the TMC and moving out is now complete. Today is the last day as employees of MRF for our research staff members. MRF has come full circle from what was considered a radical idea in 2002 when I began exploring the possibility of myelin repair. For many years we had about one hundred people on the MRF team working together to accelerate myelin repair. MRF employees have now taken new jobs with other entities and I will now spend only a small part of my time involved in myelin repair.
I am proud to say that over the last thirteen years MRF has had a tremendous impact on the field of myelin repair. Because of MRF there is a much greater understanding of myelin damage, protection, and repair. There is much more focus on and funding for myelin research by other non-profits and pharmaceutical companies, and there are related clinical trials underway. I hope as an MRF supporter you are as proud of our accomplishments as I am.
I can’t thank you enough for your support and belief in our ambitious quest to repair the central nervous system of MS patients.
P.S.: MRF thanks you for your support, but is no longer accepting donations.
Read about the clinical trial of a potential MS drug to protect and repair myelin.