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BUSM Alumnus Leads Team to Discover FDA Approved Drug for MS
Kenneth J.Rhodes, PhD, an alumnus of the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) Pharmacology Training program and vice president of Neurology Discover at Biogen Idec, led a group of researchers to discover Tecfidera, an oral medication to help treat relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Rhodes, who earned his PhD and completed a post-doctoral fellowship under Dr. David H. Farb at BUSM, led a team at Biogen Idec responsible for developing the Food and Drug Administration approved Tecfidera. The drug, also known as dimethyl fumarate, treats relapsing Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by delaying progression of physical disability and slowing the development of brain lesions associated with MS.
In a Biogen Idec press release, Rhodes stated that, “these exciting results support further research, as the data suggest that neublastin may have the potential to promote sensory neuronal regeneration and functional recovery following injury. The neublastin program is part of Biogen Idec’s commitment to innovative neurological science and discover.”
Rhodes joined Biogen Idec in May 2007 after spending ten years in the Neuroscience Department at Wyeth, where he also led neurodegeneration drug discovery teams researching MS among epilepsy, stroke, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Rhodes has published over 50 research papers in peer-reviewed journals, and most recently was the Keynote speaker for the 2013 BU-Pfizer Symposium on “Therapeutic Innvoation: Oxidative Stress and the Next Generation of Discover.”
Submitted by Ravi Lakdawala, MD