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Monday, November 5, 2012
New Multiple Sclerosis Drug Proves Effective Where Others Have Failed
ScienceDaily (Oct. 31, 2012) — Alemtuzumab, a drug previously used to treat a type of leukemia, shown to help people with early multiple sclerosis who relapsed on previous drugs as well as patients who had not yet been treated.
A drug which 'reboots' a person's immune system has been shown to be an effective treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients who have already failed to respond to the first drug with which they were treated (a 'first-line' therapy), as well as affected individuals who were previously untreated. The results of these two phase III clinical trials were published November 1 in the journal TheLancet.
The new studies, sponsored by Genzyme (a Sanofi company) and Bayer Schering Pharma, showed that alemtuzumab significantly reduces the number of attacks (or relapses) experienced by people with MS compared to interferon beta-1a (known commercially as Rebif). This was seen both in patients who had not previously received any treatment (drug-naïve) and those who have continued to show disease activity whilst taking an existing treatment for MS.