Neuroprotective Antibody Shows No Significant Impact on Walking After a Stroke

By Alex Morrisson

HOUSTON, Tex -- February 28, 2017 -- An attempt to use an antibody to protect against nerve damage and improve patients’ walking ability after a stroke did not appear to improve outcomes, according to a study presented here at the 2017 International Stroke Conference (ISC).

Steven Cramer, MD, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, California, and colleagues tested whether the investigative compound known as GSK249320 would be better than placebo in improving motor function among patients diagnosed with acute stroke, as measured by the 90-day National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score.

The NIHSS score among the 65 patients assigned to GSK249320 was 4 compared with an average score of 4 among the 68 patients in the trial who were assigned to receive placebo.

The researchers did note that GSK249320 did slowly reduce the levels of myelin-associated glycoprotein, a substance believed to inhibit the protective effect of myelin on nerves that affect motor function.

However, “GSK249320, administered intravenously and initiated within 72 hours of stroke onset, demonstrated no improvement on gait velocity compared with placebo,” the authors reported.

The study had been stopped early for futility upon the recommendation of the Data Safety and Monitoring Board (DSMB).

Dr. Cramer suggested there were a number of possibilities that GSK249320 failed to produce its desired effect including using too low a dose, reliance on pharmacokinetics of animal species, and that the drug just doesn’t work in the arena of acute stroke.

The patients were selected after being diagnosed with radiology-confirmed supratentorial ischaemic stroke and had been treated within 24 hours to 72 hour. All patients had NIHSS scores of 3 to 21 and had impaired gait of less than 0.8 meters per second.

Funding for this study was provided by GlaxoSmithKline.

[Presentation title: A Phase IIb Double-blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Study of GSK24932O for Stroke Recovery. Abstract 8]
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