Rare Disease Report

Provisional Patent Filed for Potential ALS Therapy

APRIL 10, 2018
Mathew Shanley
A new provisional patent was filed by Nutra Pharma Corporation to protect the intellectual property surrounding their development of a drug intended to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The drug, RPI-78M, is the company’s primary drug for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). It has previously been used in trials for the treatment of ALS with varying results. The company believes that it has discovered the necessary modifications to allow the therapy to work effectively against the progression of ALS.

“We are filing new intellectual property surrounding these findings and will be working with experts in the field to create the new version of the drug,” said Rik J Deitsch, Chief Executive Officer of Nutra Pharma in a press release. “Once the drug is validated, we will move into animal models in ALS that will allow us to pursue broader trials and seek partners to further this research.”

RPI-78M contains anticholinergic peptides that recognize the same acetylcholine receptors as nicotine, but have the opposite effect. Per the Nutra Pharma website, the drug lacks measurable toxicity but is still capable of attaching to and affecting the target site on the nerve cells. “This means that patients cannot overdose,” it’s noted. No serious side effects have been exhibited after years of investigations in humans and animals.

“The company has a demonstrated molecular mechanism of action for RPI-78M relevant to the pathophysiology of ALS,” reported Dale VanderPutten, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Nutra Pharma. “Understanding the shortfalls of previous ALS trials, we realized that while RPI-78M was providing better function, it was not inhibiting the progression of the disease,” he continued. “By appreciation that a foundation of ALS progression is oxidative stress, we determined that adding antioxidant capacity targeted directly to the nerves being affected should improve the performance of the drug in ALS patients," Dr VanderPutten concluded.

At present, there is no cure for ALS and no effective treatment that can halt or reverse the progression of the disease. Most people with ALS will die within 3 to 5 years of diagnosis because of respiratory failure. Symptom management, including management of salivation and upper-motorneuron symptoms, is attainable, however.

In the video below, Mary Sedarous, M.D., Medical Director of the ALS Clinic at Hackensack Meridian Hospital in New Jersey, and the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Student Site Director for Neurology Clerkship at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center, discusses management of common ALS symptoms.

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