We will continue to look for the black swan and some day we will find it. #ECTRIMS2016 #ResearchSpeak #MSBlog

“For those of you who missed ECTRIMS the following are our results of the Raltegravir (Isentress) Pilot Study in Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (INSPIRE) (
NCT01767701), which we presented at ECTRIMS. The study was negative in that we did not show an impact of raltegravir on inflammatory disease activity in MS as measured by Gd-enhancing MRI. In the biomarker component of the study there was a weak association between EBV shedding and the total number of lesions, probably driven by new lesion development. This may indicate that EBV shedding is associated with inflammatory disease activity in MS. The weak correlations between HERV-W markers, EBV shedding and new MRI lesions were independent of any raltegravir treatment effects.”

“Where to from here? We are still working on Charcot 2 that is primarily focusing on EBV activity and are taking forward an anti-EBV drug into MS. Will the peripheral suppression of EBV activity have any impact on MS disease activity? We think this hypothesis needs to be tested.”

“We would like to thank all the MSers who participated in this study, without your selfless contribution this study would never have happened. Also a big thank you to the staff who made this study happen; for those of us in the know it was not an easy ride. And a massive thanks to our donors who initially primed the Charcot project, MSD for funding the INSPIRE study, and for all of you who continue to support the Charcot Project. Are we disappointed with the results? Everybody would like to see positive results, but that is not the way science works. Negative results are as important, if not more important, than positive ones. We will continue to walk where others fear to tread; we owe it to you the MS community. 

CoI: multiple

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.


    • I don't know but I saw her at ms life in a wheelchair.

      The results are the results

      It has been asked many times why an anti integrase is of value when the virus has already integrated.

      HAART treatment is different to raltegrovir.

    • HARRT is a multidrug approach or three or more drug therapy combination.
      Could this be a approach for MS? Raltegravir and other drugs.

  • One time the right answers will come. If you are not genes alone the cause of MS something surely must be the or the cause. Even the meat protein can be a trigger for some, who knows, we will only know if we test, study sink.

    The herpes virus family I hope anything, they are very "treacherous", the teenage son of a friend of mine woke up with a sharp facial stroke after reactivation of herpes.
    So nothing can be considered definitely discarded …

  • I participated in this trial so it's a bit disappointing there was a negative result. However, I would like to say that all of the staff I met were absolutely lovely. Everyone I came into contact with at both sites treated me with kindness, humour and respect. I would most definitely take part in a trial again if I met the criteria and would urge everybody with MS to do the same. Cheers guys.

    • Although I was not involved in the trial, I am sure the team would say thanks for the kind words and without the bravery of people like you to volunteer for such studies, there would be no progress.

By Prof G



Recent Posts

Recent Comments