Anti-LINGO-1 (also known as BIIB033) is a treatment in development by the pharmaceutical company Biogen. It’s currently being tested for people with optic neuritis, relapsing remitting MS and secondary progressive MS in phase 2 clinical trials.

Current phase of trial: phase 2

Type of MS: relapsing remitting and secondary progressive MS, and optic neuritis.

How does anti-LINGO-1 work?

LINGO is a protein found in nerve cells and myelin-making cells called oligodendrocytes. Blocking the activity of this protein with an antibody called anti-LINGO-1 has been shown to result in myelin repair in animal with a condition similar to MS.

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How is anti-LINGO-1 taken?

Anti-LINGO-1 is an intravenous infusion.

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Latest Research


This phase 2 trial tested the safety and effectiveness of anti-LINGO-1 for people with relapsing forms of MS (both relapsing remitting and/or secondary progressive MS).

In June 2016 Biogen reported that anti-LINGO-1 had failed to improve measures of physical and cognitive function or disability.

This trial involved 416 people who each took either 3, 10, 30 or 100 mg of anti-LINGO-1 per kilo weight, or a placebo, once every 4 weeks for 72 weeks. Everyone involved in the trial was also taking weekly beta-interferon-1a injections.

RENEW trial

In April 2015, results from a phase 2 clinical trial testing the safety effectiveness of anti-LINGO-1 as a treatment for optic neuritis were announced at a conference.

The trial involved 82 participants with a first episode of acute optic neuritis. They took either 6 doses of anti-LINGO-1 (100 mg per kilo weight, once every 4 weeks for 20 weeks) or a placebo infusion.

Researchers found that those taking anti-LINGO-1 had better signalling along the optic nerve, suggesting myelin repair had taken place. Participants had a 41 per cent improvement in nerve signalling compared to the placebo group.

While these results still need to be published in a scientific journal, they are the first indication that a drug could promote myelin repair in MS.

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What are the side effects of anti-LINGO-1?

Some adverse effects of MS were reported in the RENEW trial: two participants had hypersensitivity reactions to the infusion itself, while one participant had an increase in liver enzymes (which was resolved by discontinuing the treatment).

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How does anti-LINGO-1 compare with current therapies?

Anti-LINGO-1 hasn’t yet been directly compared with other treatments for MS, so it isn't possible to draw conclusions about its relative effectiveness at this time.

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When is anti-LINGO-1 likely to become available?

If the phase 2 (SYNERGY) trial of anti-LINGO-1 in people with MS is successful, a larger scale phase 3 trial will be carried out to confirm its effectiveness as a treatment for people with MS.

Research is still at an early stage and it will be a few years before we know if anti-LINGO-1 is an effective treatment for people with MS.

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