A Multiple Sclerosis Vaccine Showed Promise

Multiple sclerosis Vaccine

The vaccine is set to enter human trials in 2023.

US scientists have been working on a vaccine to helps the body detect pathogens of the harmful Epstein-Barr virus, the virus that increasingly being linked to multiple sclerosis, lymphoma and stomach cancer, and develop antibodies against the virus after being vaccinated in trials.

“It was a very promising result because we were able to basically block the virus infection almost entirely and stop it from causing even low-level infection,” one of the scientists behind the vaccine told the New Scientist. “If the vaccine is shown to be safe and effective in people, it could be given to children to prevent Epstein-Barr-related conditions.”

It’s believed that EBV triggers Multiple Sclerosis in some people by tricking the immune system into attacking the body’s own nerve cells, according to another January study published in Nature.

Moderna, the US company better known for its covid-19 vaccine, recently began a clinical trial for its own Epstein-Barr vaccine, and announced it on its latest progress press release. Moderna’s vaccine differs from the ModeX candidate in that, similarly to its covid-19 vaccine, it uses mRNA to instruct cells to make several Epstein-Barr virus proteins, rather than administering them directly.

Effective EBV vaccines will be the key to ultimately proving the link between the virus and MS, said Bruce Bebo, executive vice president of research programs for the National MS Society. So it is yet to really determine if the EBV vaccine is actually a ‘Multiple Sclerosis vaccine.’

“In order to prove causation, there’s one experiment left to do. That experiment is to have a vaccine and deploy the vaccine, and then observe over a period of time whether it can prevent MS,” Bebo said. “We have everything we need to know now to justify an investment in that type of experiment, once we have a safe and effective vaccine.”