[blockquote]The scientists at Germany’s BioNTech (BNTX) who helped develop a coronavirus jab with US pharma company Pfizer (PFE) have used the same technology to develop a vaccine which they say cures multiple sclerosis (MS) in mice.
Both use a piece of genetic material called mRNA that is injected into a person's arm and forces the body's cells to produce a protein that help against the respective diseases for which the jab has been developed.
In the case of COVID-19, if a person later contracts the disease, the immune system is able to quickly fight it by creating antibodies before the virus can spread.
BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin led research showing that an mRNA vaccine might also work in multiple sclerosis, Fierce Biotech, a pharma news outlet, reported.
Sahin's team showed that an mRNA vaccine encoding a disease-related autoantigen successfully improved MS symptoms in sick animals and prevented disease progression in rodents showing early signs of MS.
Sahin, along with colleagues at BioNTech and scientists at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, hypothesised that an mRNA vaccine could help the immune system tolerate specific MS-related proteins without compromising normal immune function.
With the MS vaccine, the mRNA technology stops the body's immune system from attacking neurons in the brain and spinal cord which can lead to the loss of bodily function.
Clinical trials on mice revealed the jab not only stopped the disease from progressing but restored some motor skills which had been lost.
The German startup has been at the forefront of the vaccine race.