Novartis MS drug shows promising results

RI (at the 12th month) was reduced by more than 80% compared to the sixth month. More than 80% of patients who received FTY720 for up to 12 months were free from lesions showing active inflammation on MRI at the 12th month irrespective of their FTY720 treatment dose (1.25 mg or 5 mg).

FTY720 appeared to be well tolerated, with 91% of patients who entered the extension phase completing the 12th month on the study drug. There were no unexpected safety findings during the extension as compared to the six-month placebo-controlled phase. The most frequently reported adverse events in patients treated up to twelve months were non-serious infections (colds, influenza), headache, diarrhoea and nausea.

About FTY720
Oral FTY720 has a novel mode of action different from all available therapies. It reversibly sequesters lymphocytes away from blood and susceptible target organs such as the central nervous system (CNS), thereby reducing neuroinflammation in MS. FTY720 has been developed by Novartis Pharma and licensed from Mitsubishi Pharma Corporation.

About Multiple Sclerosis
MS is the most common inflammatory and neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. MS typically presents itself in relapsing forms. The relapsing-remitting (RRMS) course is the most common form of the disease. Patients suffer acute self-limiting attacks (relapses) of neurological dysfunction followed by complete or incomplete remission in function. Over time, transmission of electrical nerve impulses is disrupted, nerve cells are destroyed, and patients experience symptoms ranging from fatigue, tingling, numbness and blurred vision to poor muscle control with partial or complete paralysis, speech or mental impairment. About 50% of patients advance to the secondary progressive (SPMS) course within 10 years.


Contact: Eva Reynolds

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