MS Research Australia’s Project Grant for improving MS treatment

Imag: Dr Ines Atmosukarto (Lipotek), Associate Professor Anne Bruestle and Ms Nadia Roberts.
20 January 2021

Associate Professor Anne Bruestle has been awarded one of nine of the MS Research Australia’s Project Grants to continue her work on improving the efficacy of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) treatment.

“In this research, we are exploring how enhancing the delivery of drugs could reduce the dose, change the interaction with the immune system and improve outcomes of treatment” explains Associate Professor Bruestle.

There are more than twenty-five thousand people living with MS in Australia, and treatment often has severe side effects.

For example, Mitoxantrone (MTX) (Novantrone) is a drug that is registered as an MS treatment but it can only be given for a lifetime total of two years due to its negative effects on the heart.

CEO of MS Australia, Rohan Greenland said in the MS Research Australia press release “Maintaining momentum in MS research in this country is our absolute priority, so we are extremely proud to be announcing the recipients of our Investigator led grants program today.”

“These researchers are incredibly talented, and it is our priority to help our research community keep their labs open and continue their world-class research so we can stop and reverse the effects of MS.”

Associate Professor Bruestle’s project is a close collaboration with Lipotek, a company where researchers explore the potential of the liposome, a nanosized delivery vehicle, for improved drug delivery.

“We can pack an already existing and approved treatment, such as Mitoxantrone, into these vehicles” said Associate Professor Bruestle.

“Our preliminary data shows these vehicles are able to enter the brain and spinal cord basically bringing the drug closer to where it is needed.”

“Using this as a targeted delivery platform we would be able to use lower the dose and allow patients to use the treatment for longer and reduce the side effects of the drug.”

“We are currently working with Mitoxantrone as a proof of principle, but we hope that our work will be able to enhance the delivery of other drugs as well.”

This is highly relevant for people under treatment who endure severe side effects.

“Working with and for the MS community here in Canberra is the fundamental motivator and driver of my research.”