Epstein-Barr Virus's Relationship With Multiple Sclerosis

Episode 56,   Jan 28, 2022, 11:00 AM

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In this episode, we spoke with Bridget A. Bagert, MD, MPH, director, Ochsner Multiple Sclerosis Center, and an investigator in the clinical study of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-targeted agent, ATA188 (Atara Biotherapeutics). She offered her perspective on the recent data from Ascherio et al on the relationship between EBV and multiple sclerosis (MS) that suggest it may be a root cause of the disease, as well as background on the decades of research that have led to this point and the potential of therapies that target EBV and the B cells it infects for patients with MS.

Episode Breakdown:
  • 1:25 – Background and historical data on EBV and MS
  • 5:15 – The role B cells play in MS and EBV infection
  • 10:20 – The current understanding of EBV as a cause of MS
  • 14:20 – Neurology News Minute
  • 18:05 – Immediate research needs in this area
  • 21:00 – The clinical community’s view of this relationship
  • 23:45 – ATA188 as an EBV-targeted approach to MS
  • 30:00 – Closing thoughts

Want to learn more about EBV and MS? Click here to register for free for an in-depth NeurologyLive®panel discussion including Scott Newsome, DO (moderator); Alberto Ascherio, DPh, MD; Anne Cross, MD; Avindra Nath, MD; and Michael Racke, MD.

The stories featured in this week's Neurology News Minute, which will give you quick updates on the following developments in neurology, are further detailed here:

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1. Bar-Or A, Pender MP, Hodgkinson SJ, et al. Updated open-label extension clinical data and new magnetization transfer ratio imaging data from a Phase I study of ATA188, an off-the-shelf, allogeneic Epstein-Barr virus-targeted T-cell immunotherapy for progressive multiple sclerosis. Presented at ECTRIMS Congress; October 13-15, 2021; Poster P638.
2. Bjornevik K, Cortese M, Healy BC, et al. Longitudinal analysis reveals high prevalence of Epstein-Barr virus associated with multiple sclerosis. Science. Published online January 13, 2022. doi:10.1126/science.abj8222