Mastinib, Sclerosis and COVID-19


Later NDG will report the results of the Mastinib trial in Progressive MS reported at ACTRIS/ECTRIMS 2020. Mastinib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitior, which is distinct from a Brutons Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor that inhibits B cells. Mastinib inhibits a number of tyrosine kinases and was developed for treating cancer. Masitinib is capable of controlling microgliosis and the emergence/expansion of aberrant glial cells.

tyrosine kinase is an enzyme that can transfer a phosphate group from ATP to the tyrosine residues of specific proteins inside a cell. It functions as an “on” or “off” switch in many cellular functions.

It was used in a trial in MS a few years ago.

Mastinib treatment in patients with progressive multiple sclerosis: a randomized pilot study.Vermersch P, Benrabah R, Schmidt N, Zéphir H, Clavelou P, Vongsouthi C, Dubreuil P, Moussy A, Hermine O.BMC Neurol. 2012;12:36. doi: 10.1186/1471-2377-12-36.

Background: Treatment options for patients suffering from progressive forms of multiple sclerosis (MS) remain inadequate. Mast cells actively participate in the pathogenesis of MS, in part because they release large amounts of various mediators that sustain the inflammatory network. Masitinib, a selective oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor, effectively inhibits the survival, migration and activity of mast cells. This exploratory study assessed the safety and clinical benefit of masitinib in the treatment of primary progressive MS (PPMS) or relapse-free secondary progressive MS (rfSPMS).

Methods: Multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, proof-of-concept trial. Masitinib was administered orally at 3 to 6 mg/kg/day for at least 12 months, with dose adjustment permitted in event of insufficient response with no toxicity. The primary response endpoint was the change relative to baseline in the multiple sclerosis functional composite score (MSFC). Clinical response was defined as an increase in MSFC score relative to baseline of > 100%.

Results: Thirty-five patients were randomized to receive masitinib (N = 27) or placebo (N = 8). Masitinib was relatively well tolerated with the most common adverse events being asthenia, rash, nausea, edema, and diarrhea. The overall frequency of adverse events was similar to the placebo group, however, a higher incidence of severe and serious events was associated with masitinib treatment. Masitinib appeared to have a positive effect on MS-related impairment for PPMS and rfSPMS patients, as evidenced by an improvement in MSFC scores relative to baseline, compared with a worsening MSFC score in patients receiving placebo; +103% ± 189 versus -60% ± 190 at month-12, respectively. This positive, albeit non-statistically significant response was observed as early as month-3 and sustained through to month-18, with similar trends seen in the PPMS and rfSPMS subpopulations. A total of 7/22 (32%) assessable masitinib patients reported clinical response following 12 months of treatment (according to the modified intent-to-treat population, observed cases) compared with none in the placebo group. The Expanded Disability Status Scale remained stable for both treatment groups.

Conclusion: These data suggest that masitinib is of therapeutic benefit to PPMS and rfSPMS patients and could therefore represent an innovative avenue of treatment for this disease. This exploratory trial provides evidence that may support a larger placebo-controlled investigation.

Interestingly it was used in Motor neuron disease also

Mora JS, Genge A, Chio A, et al. Masitinib as an add-on therapy to riluzole in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a randomized clinical trial. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener. 2020;21(1-2):5-14. doi:10.1080/21678421.2019.1632346

Conclusions: Results show that masitinib at 4.5 mg/kg/d can benefit patients with ALS.

It could be interesting as it may inhibit COVID-19

Drayman N. et al. Drug repurposing screen identifies masitinib as a 3CLpro inhibitor that blocks replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. BioRXiv . 2020 Sep 1;2020.08.31.274639. doi: 10.1101/2020.08.31.274639

There is an urgent need for anti-viral agents that treat SARS-CoV-2 infection. The shortest path to clinical use is repurposing of drugs that have an established safety profile in humans. Here, we first screened a library of 1,900 clinically safe drugs for inhibiting replication of OC43, a human beta-coronavirus that causes the common-cold and is a relative of SARS-CoV-2, and identified 108 effective drugs. We further evaluated the top 26 hits and determined their ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2, as well as other pathogenic RNA viruses. 20 of the 26 drugs significantly inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in human lung cells (A549 epithelial cell line), with EC50 values ranging from 0.1 to 8 micromolar. We investigated the mechanism of action for these and found that masitinib, a drug originally developed as a tyrosine-kinase inhibitor for cancer treatment, strongly inhibited the activity of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease 3CLpro. Mastinib also inhibited the related viral protease of picornaviruses and blocked picornaviruses replication. Thus, our results show that masitinib has broad anti-viral activity against two distinct beta-coronaviruses and multiple picornaviruses that cause human disease and is a strong candidate for clinical trials to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Wonder what will happen?…sadly you didn’t have to wait for ECTRIMS2020 to occur as Companies release (Feb 2020) the data because the investor market is more important than doctors knowing the result:-(.

About the author



  • If it shows Promise for the Hopeless, why bother with Placebo Studies?
    Will Pharma hold back the results until the next conference?

  • Mast cells and ms?

    In the nervous system
    Unlike other hematopoietic cells of the immune system, mast cells naturally occur in the human brain where they interact with the neuroimmune system.[4] In the brain, mast cells are located in a number of structures that mediate visceral sensory (e.g., pain) or neuroendocrine functions or that are located along the blood–cerebrospinal fluid barrier, including the pituitary stalk, pineal gland, thalamus, and hypothalamus, area postrema, choroid plexus, and in the dural layer of the meninges near meningeal nociceptors.[4] Mast cells serve the same general functions in the body and central nervous system, such as effecting or regulating allergic responses, innate and adaptive immunity, autoimmunity, and inflammation.[4][16] Across systems, mast cells serve as the main effector cell through which pathogens can affect the gut–brain axis.[17][1

    In the gut

    In the gastrointestinal tract, mucosal mast cells are located in close proximity to sensory nerve fibres, which communicate bidirectionally.[19][17][18] When these mast cells initially degranulate, they release mediators (e.g., histamine, tryptase, and serotonin) which activate, sensitize, and upregulate membrane expression of nociceptors (i.e., TRPV1) on visceral afferent neurons via their receptors (respectively, HRH1, HRH2, HRH3, PAR2, 5-HT3);[19] in turn, neurogenic inflammation, visceral hypersensitivity, and intestinal dysmotility (i.e., impaired peristalsis) result.[19] Neuronal activation induces neuropeptide (substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide) signaling to mast cells where they bind to their associated receptors and trigger degranulation of a distinct set of mediators (β-Hexosaminidase, cytokines, chemokines, PGD2, leukotrienes, and eoxins).[19][11]

    They are all about alergies

    First time a see them in ms context

    • Clemastine fumarate, an antihistamine, was in a trial for MS a few years back. Mast cell biology and the role in MS pathology is unclear. Also, what is the effect on glia and mast cells upon treatment with masitinib as it relates to MS?

By MouseDoctor



Recent Posts

Recent Comments