Clinicians are gearing up to put Roche’s Actemra (tocilizumab) to the test in ALS according to MGH neurologist Merit Cudkowicz MD.  The immunomodulator, currently used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, aims to slow progression by reducing production of pro-inflammatory substances that might further damage the motor nerves.

ALS MND potential therapies clinic


What's in the pipeline? Learn about therapies being developed for ALS in the clinic today by exploring our timeline.

The phase II clinical trial, announced at the 2013 Northeast ALS Consortium meeting, is to be led by Barrow Neurological Institute’s Shafeeq Ladha MD and University of Kansas Medical Center’s Rick Barohn MD

The study aims to determine the safety and tolerability of Actemra in people with ALS.

This is important according to Duke University School of Medicine's Tso-Pang Yao PhD because IL-6 signaling, blocked by Actemra, may also be needed to repair and regenerate damaged muscles in people with ALS.

Sites include the Barrow Neurological Institute in Arizona, University of California Los Angeles and the University of Kansas. 80 people with ALS are expected to participate.

To learn more about Actemra, check out our topics page.