December 4, 2006
Sarasota's Roskamp Institute Announces Participation in Multiple Sclerosis Study
Roskamp Institute looking for volunteers for Multiple Sclerosis research study
Sarasota, Fla. - The Roskamp Institute announced today its participation in a pharmaceutical
sponsored research study for relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis (MS) sufferers.
While the Roskamp Institute's primary focus is on Alzheimer's disease, Roskamp researchers
have a significant interest in MS due to findings that suggest there are some captivating
similarities when studying the immune system response in the brain of persons with Alzheimer's
disease and MS.
"The white blood cells, also known as T-cells, contain a surface marker called CD40 that may
play an important role in both Alzheimer's disease and MS," said Dr. Andrew Keegan, an
investigator in Neurosciences at the Roskamp Institute's clinical trials division. "Our
commitment to finding cures to neurodegenerative disorders, such as MS, has led us to
participate in this study sponsored by Novartis that will examine the use of a new investigational
drug called fingolimod."
Research scientists want to determine whether the investigational drug fingolimod, which is
currently not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, can help people with
relapsing-remitting MS. The study drug comes as capsules you take by swallowing once a day,
and has been given by researchers to more than 2,300 people in studies that have included
healthy people, patients with MS, and kidney transplant patients.
Fingolimod may act on certain types of white blood cells that are responsible for immune
reactions. Researchers want to determine if the investigational drug makes these cells move
away from areas of inflammation and redirects them toward lymph nodes and other places in the
body where they rest. Scientific researchers believe these white blood cells play an important
role in the inflammation process associated with MS and this investigational oral medication
may be able to help people with inflammation caused by MS.
"We are looking for volunteers to participate in this pharmaceutical sponsored research study to
assess the effectiveness and safety of the investigational drug fingolimod, used to treat patients
with relapsing-remitting MS," said Dr. Michael Mullan, director of the Roskamp Institute. "We
hope by working with Novartis we may be able to provide our patients and their families with
another treatment option."
To participate in the MS research study, please contact Dr. Andrew Keegan at (941) 256-8018.
Eligible participants of the study will receive study related medical care as it relates to the
research study (ie: physical exams, ECGs, MRI, labs, eye exam), study medication and possible
compensation for time and travel. Participants must be between the ages of 18-to-55 years old,
have relapsing-remitting MS, be ambulatory (some assisted devices allowed) and medically
The Roskamp Institute is devoted to understanding causes of and finding cures for diseases of
the mind like neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders and addictions. The Institute
utilizes a broad range of scientific approaches to understanding the causes of and potential
therapies for these disorders with an emphasis on Alzheimer's disease.
For more information please contact the Roskamp Institute in Sarasota (941) 256-8018, the
Roskamp Institute Roskamp Institute Clinic in Tampa (813) 979-2008, or visit us online at
CONTACT: Sarah Bascom (850) 222-2140
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