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What's New with MS?

The current time period is an exciting one in the  multiple sclerosis (MS) community.  Research has led to the development of exciting new potential therapies that can impact the natural history of the disease and help keep patients stable.

Current FDA approved therapies include:

  • Avonex
  • Betaseron
  • Copaxone
  • Extavia
  • Rebif
  • Tysabri
  • Novantrone

A new medicine called Ampyra has been approved by the FDA in January 2010. It has been well tolerated and improved walking speed in a population of research patients. We believe it will become available to us very soon.

Potential New Therapies

I. Oral Formulations being Studied

Cladribine:

  • Immunosuppressant
  • Reduction in relapse rate and gadolinium enhanced lesions seen in treatment group

Fingolimod:

  • Immunosuppressant
  • Sustained decrease in annualized relapse rate and increase in patients free of gadolinium enhanced lesions

Laquinimod:

  • Potential immunomodulation
  • Reduction of active MRI lesions seen

Teriflunomide:

  • Potential immunomodulation/impairing DNA synthesis
  • Currently being studied

Fumarate (BG12)

  • Already used for Psoriasis (in Europe)
  • Upregulates TH2 response, immunomodulatory
  • Found to reduce MRI active lesions

II. Intravenous Formulations being Studied

Campath (alemtuzamab)

  • Immunosuppressant targeting B cells and T cells
  • Those taking alemtuzumab had a 74 percent reduction in the risk of MS relapse compared with those on Rebif and a 71 percent reduction in the risk for sustained accumulation of disability

Rituximab

  • Binds to CD20 antigen on B cells and induces B cell lysis
  • 91 percent reduction in gadolinium enhanced lesion count and reduced proportion of patients with relapses versus placebo

 


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