Fred D. Lublin, MD, Receives $19 Million Grant for MS Clinical Trial

CombiRx, a multi-center clinical trial for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) therapeutics, just received a $19-million renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

 – June 17, 2009 /Press Release/  –– 

CombiRx, a multi-center clinical trial for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) therapeutics, just received a $19-million renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This is the largest and longest NIH-sponsored trial of MS therapeutics.

Dr. Fred D. Lublin, MD, Director of the Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis at The Mount Sinai Medical Center and Professor of Neurology, is the recipient of this grant as principal investigator of CombiRx, which pairs two "standard" disease-modifying drugs in combination and against each other, to learn if both drugs combined perform better than each drug alone.

The Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for MS at Mount Sinai serves as the lead center in the trial. The study is now fully enrolled, with more than 1,000 newly-diagnosed patients participating through 67 medical centers across the United States and Canada. Combined with the original grant, the NIH has now allocated more than $44-million for this long-term trial.

MS is a chronic, disabling disease of the central nervous system. The disease causes inflammation, destruction, and scarring of the sheath that covers nerve fibers, called myelin, in the brain and spinal cord. As a result, electrical signals from the brain are slowed or blocked from reaching the eyes, muscles, and other parts of the body. MS is the most prevalent disabling disorder of young adults (18 to 40 years of age) in the United States and affects more than 400,000 people. The cause of MS is unknown and there is no known cure.

"This renewal grant expands on the original aims of the combination therapy trial, allowing us to study the mechanisms by which patients with MS develop disability," said Dr. Lublin. "MS patients on therapeutic protocols have never before been studied over the course of what will now be a six-year period."

In addition to providing unique comparative efficacy data, the study will also provide clinical, MRI, and biomarker profiles for prognosis and response to therapy.

About The Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis at The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Corinne Goldsmith Dickinson Center for Multiple Sclerosis at Mount Sinai is one of the first and most comprehensive programs in the United States focusing on treatment for and research into multiple sclerosis. With state-of-the-art programs in diagnostics, experimental therapeutics, and basic research, the Center emphasizes a multidisciplinary approach to disease management. Close collaboration among researchers and clinicians results in the rapid translation of new discoveries into more effective treatments, giving patients the widest possible range of options.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center
The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The Mount Sinai Hospital is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. Founded in 1852, Mount Sinai today is a 1,171-bed tertiary-care teaching facility that is internationally acclaimed for excellence in clinical care. Last year, nearly 50,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients, and there were nearly 450,000 outpatient visits to the Medical Center.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine is internationally recognized as a leader in groundbreaking clinical and basic science research, as well as having an innovative approach to medical education. With a faculty of more than 3,400 in 38 clinical and basic science departments and centers, Mount Sinai ranks among the top 20 medical schools in receipt of National Institute of Health (NIH) grants. For more information, please visit www.mountsinai.org.