The U.S. FDA has granted orphan drug designation to RPI-78M for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) in children age 0 through 16 years old.  RPI-78M is currently in the MS pipeline of Nutra Pharma, a biotechnology company based in Coral Springs, FL.  MS is a rare disease of the central nervous system characterized by inflammation, demyelination and axonal injury.  Although the exact cause of the disease is not clear, studies have demonstrated that immune system plays a central role in the pathogenesis of MS.  RPI-78M was originally derived from an extract of cobra venom and is an antagonist of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor.  It is believed that neurotoxins, such as RPI-78M can protect nerve cells from apoptosis.  According to the company’s webstie, RPI-78M has completed Phase I trial and is in planning stage for a Phase II trial for MS.