There is exciting news from last week’s 26th Congress of the European Committee for the Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) in Gothenburg, Sweden.
ALEMTUZUMAB. 5-year data from a Phase II extension study for alemtuzumab, an intravenously administered monoclonal antibody, showed that the drug:
- reduced annualized rate of relapse to 0.14 compared with 0.28 for interferon
- reduced the risk for sustained accumulation of disability in remitting relapsing multiple sclerosis by 87% compared to 62% with interferon.
This is a remarkable agent with excellent activity in MS. Adverse events included immune thrombocytopenic purpura, thyroiditis and anti-glomerular basement membrane disease.
TERIFLUNOMIDE. A Phase III trial of oral teriflunomide in remitting relapsing MS showed:
- a 31% reduction in relapse rate and increased time to first relapse compared with placebo
- reduced the risk of sustained disability progression by 29.8%.
Side effects were mild and included diarrhea, nausea, liver function abnormalities and hair loss.
Alemtuzumab and teriflunomide are currently in Phase III clinical trials at SNI.
- Dr. Jim Bowen presented a poster about ongoing demyelination and neurodegeneration in a patient who had undergone autologous stem cell transplantation.
- Drs. Jung Henson and Mayadev reviewed the beneficial effects of exercise on functional and quality of life outcomes from SNI’s MS wellness program