Fampridine – SR (4-aminopyridine)
Acorda Therapeutics of New York, USA have been conducting clinical trials of Fampridine-SR to determine it’s efficacy in improving walking abilities in people with MS or spinal cord injuries (SCI).
In laboratory studies, Fampridine has been found to improve impulse conduction in nerve fibres with myelin damage. In damaged nerve fibres the exposed axons leak potassium ions causing the axons to ‘short-circuit’ or the signal to be blocked. Fampridine closes the exposed potassium channels allowing the axons to transmit impulses again.
On 25th September 2006, Acorda Therapeutics announced positive results from it’s phase 3 clinical trials. The trials were a double-blind study where over 34% of patients on Fampridine showed an improvement in a Timed 25 foot Walk. There was also a statistically significant improvement in the 12-item MS Walking Scale
Acorda will now request a meeting with the FDA to discuss the next steps for the Fampridie-SR program.