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Disclaimer: 'MS Views and News' DOES NOT endorse any products or services found on this blog. It is up to you to seek advice from your healthcare provider. The intent of this blog is to provide information on various medical conditions, medications, treatments, and procedures for your personal knowledge and to keep you informed of current health-related issues. It is not intended to be complete or exhaustive, nor is it a substitute for the advice of your physician. Should you or your family members have any specific medical problem, seek medical care promptly.

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CHAMPIONS TACKLING MS - AWARDS Dinner, Honoring Aaron Boster, MD and Jon e. Glaser, DDS - now open for registration. Visit www.events.msvn.org

Saturday, August 8, 2015

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COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS -

This fact sheet is provided to help you understand the current evidence regarding complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) is the world’s largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals. Neurologists are doctors who identify and treat diseases of the brain and nervous system.

The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. Experts from the AAN carefully reviewed the available scientific studies on CAM therapies for MS. The following information* is based on evidence from those studies.

The information summarizes the main findings of the 2014 AAN guideline on CAM in MS.  To read the full guideline, visit http://tinyurl.com/ogtxdtz



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Managing MS issues and symptoms on the job?

People living with multiple sclerosis (MS) know that some days are easy, but that MS symptoms can make others very difficult.

However, the desire to be productive and keep working remains the same. The good news is that it is very possible to continue to work after a diagnosis of MS, but it is also helpful to be aware of the options you have when MS symptoms start to make things more difficult to manage.

Talking About MS Symptoms in the Workplace
One of the first difficult decisions someone newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosislearns is which people to tell about your MS and how much to tell them, says Nicholas LaRocca, PhD, vice president of health care delivery and policy research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Continue reading from #EverydayHealth



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Avoid #brainfog as best as you can

TIPS for Getting RID of Brain Fog



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Click here to read these tips



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MSPrecise Shown to be Accurate in Diagnosing RRMS in Study Cohort

A new study testing Amarantus Diagnostics’ MSPrecise on multiple sclerosis patients identified the test as a specific and sensitive diagnostic test for multiple sclerosis. The test accurately diagnosed 84% of multiple sclerosis patients from a broad range of subjects with potential neurological diseases. These results further support Amarantus Diagnostics’ ability to design next generation sequencing (NGS) molecular diagnostics to test for disease.

MSPrecise Shown to be Accurate in Diagnosing RRMS in Study Cohort

“MSPrecise scoring is a powerful approach to aid clinicians in this task,” said Colin Bier, Chief Development Officer of Amarantus Diagnostics, in information provided to Multiple Sclerosis News Today. “In this study completed in 2013 and now reported in ‘GENE,’ there is an overall MSPrecise accuracy of 84% in identifying relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients or patients that will develop RRMS, which represents a huge benefit to physicians.”

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Altered Immune Cells in Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Patients Cause Reduced Immune Capacity

In a new study entitled “Polymorphonuclear Cell Functional Impairment in Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Patients: Preliminary Data” researchers investigated how polymorphonuclear cells — important players of the innate immune system — are altered in multiple sclerosis patients. The study was published in the journal PLOS One.
A key component of the innate immune system are polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs), which are responsible for phagocytosis (ingestion or engulfment other cells or particles) and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), key steps in combating infections. Notably, MS patients were reported to exhibit decreased levels of PMNs with altered functions, which may cause the increase in infection risk.
In this new research, the authors investigated how the functional capacities of PMNs are altered in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), characterized by clearly defined attacks of worsening neurologic function which are then followed by periods of partial or complete recovery periods (called remissions) when compared to PMNs from healthy individuals. Specifically, they measured the ability of PMNs retrieved from MS patients to secrete cytokines, produce ROS, and regulate cell death when infected with a bacteria,Klebsiella pneumonia and a fungus, Candida albicans.
Altered Immune Cells in Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis Patients Cause Reduced Immune Capacity

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Multiple Sclerosis Clinical Trial Participation Guide

Anyone with Multiple Sclerosis knows that, in spite of there being several FDA-approved therapies for treating the disease, there are still many unmet medical needs for MS. The current therapeutics help patients deal with the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, but much more work needs to be done develop treatments that slow the progression of the disease from Relapsing-Remitting into Secondary Progressive, as well as offer neuroprotection and regeneration of myelin. And for those with the progressive forms of MS, there are currently no FDA-approved therapies, and very few options for treatment.
Drug development companies are currently working on all of these issues, and while early drug discovery is performed in the lab and in pre-clinical animal models, a therapy ultimately needs to be tested and confirmed in humans before it can ever be approved by the FDA and other governing health organizations. To this end, multiple sclerosis clinical trials offer those with the disease an opportunity to gain access to experimental therapies prior to their approval, which may help their own disease prognosis, as well as contribute to a growing body of scientific data on how to treat and eventually cure MS.
The following are a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pertaining to clinical trials, and what the process entails:

What is a clinical trial?

Clinical trials are well-designed studies that collect information about new treatments for diseases and disorders. Most of the time, this means medications, but clinical trials can also test other things, such as stem cell therapies, surgical techniques, tests for diagnosis, medical devices, as well as others. In particular, clinical trials focus on administering an experimental therapy in humans, as opposed to animals, which are conducted first in the lab (known as “pre-clinical research”).

Why do we need clinical trials?

Clinical trials are needed for medical treatments to be approved by government organizations, such as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Without clinical trials, doctors and other prescribing healthcare providers (such as nurse practitioners or physician’s assistants) cannot prescribe medications or recommend other medical treatments. These studies are needed to understand two important types of information 1) that the treatment is effective (also called efficacious), ie, that it really works and 2) that the treatment is safe for use in humans.
In addition to helping patients by making the best possible treatments available, clinical trials also advance scientific understanding of a disease or disorder.

How do clinical trials work?

Usually, effectiveness is compared versus a placebo (sugar pill with no medication in it), or another type of comparison. Another type of medication comparison that is common is a different drug, already approved for use. A comparison is needed to understand that the medication works and also to see if the medication is safe. Researchers will design the clinical trial for a specific period of time, during which the people participating will either get the treatment, or the comparison treatment. Typically a study is done “double-blind,” which means that neither the researchers giving the treatments nor the participants know who is getting which treatment. This prevents “bias,” which means expectations that could influence the outcome of the study.
Researchers giving the treatment will have a code that is later “unblinded” so they find out what treatment they were giving. The researchers also record measurements while the participants are receiving the treatment. These measurements can be for different things, such as to determine if the treatment is working, to assess safety and side-effects. Other measurements might include blood levels of the medications. If someone participates in a clinical trial, they will be informed about the measurements that will be taken before the trial starts. An “Informed Consent” document tells participants about the trial.

What kind of clinical trials are there?

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Could Salt Intake be an MS RIsk Factor?


Could Salt Intake be an MS RIsk Factor?

Most people know that eating too much salt is bad for your health, but a new study suggests that it could also increase the risk for multiple sclerosis (MS). The work appeared in the August 2015 issue of The FASEB Journalthe journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Researchers from the University of Vermont in Burlington found that mice who ingested too much sodium had more severe forms of experimentally-induced MS. While the effect seemed to depend on both genetics and gender, the findings could add salt to the other factors that have been proposed as contributors to the disease, such as environmental toxins and genes.
“We hope to provide a comprehensive understanding of how and why environmental factors interact with individuals’ unique genetic make up to influence autoimmune diseases such as MS,” remarked Dimitry N. Krementsov, Ph.D., one of the researchers, who is working in the Department of Medicine, Immunobiology Program at the University of Vermont.
Continue Reading

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New MS Testing Model Can Predict If Disease Will Intensify in Patients


A new study published in the journal Statistical Methods in Medical Research revealed a new method to determine the disease course in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The study is entitled “Joint assessment of dependent discrete disease state processes” and was conducted by researchers at the Brigham Young UniversityBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.New MS Testing Model Can Predict If Disease Will Intensify in Patients
MS is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disorder that results from an attack on the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and optical nerves) by the body’s own immune system, causing inflammation and damage to the myelin layer that covers and protects neurons resulting in motor function impairment (coordination, balance, speech and vision), irreversible neurological disability and paralysis. Most MS patients experience their first symptoms between 20 and 40 years of age and it is estimated that more than 2.3 million people in the world suffer from the disease. There is currently no cure for MS and the disease course is highly unpredictable.
Now, researchers have developed a model capable of predicting whether the disease will intensify. This method relies heavily on each patient’s history, allowing a personalized prediction for each case.
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Friday, August 7, 2015

Caffeine In Coffee Found To Reduce Multiple Sclerosis Risk

Previous research on potential associations between caffeine consumption and MS risk had been inconclusive, but other studies had associated caffeine consumption with reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, indicating that the drug may have neuroprotective qualities.
“Caffeine intake has been associated with a reduced risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, and our study shows that coffee intake may also protect against MS, supporting the idea that the drug may have protective effects for the brain,” explains study lead author Ellen Mowry, MD, MCR, an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore specializing in Multiple Sclerosis research and an American Academy of Neurology member.
For this study, researchers reviewed results of two population-based case-control studies; a Swedish study comparing coffee-drinking habits of 1,629 subjects with MS and 2,807 healthy people, and a Kaiser Permanente Northern California study of 1,159 persons with MS and 1,172 healthy people.

Caffeine In Coffee Found To Reduce Multiple Sclerosis Risk


Read more

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Could Salt Intake be an MS RIsk Factor?

Most people know that eating too much salt is bad for your health, but a new study suggests that it could also increase the risk for multiple sclerosis (MS). The work appeared in the August 2015 issue of The FASEB Journal, the journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 
Researchers from the University of Vermont in Burlington found that 




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Thursday, August 6, 2015

7 T MRI reveals cortical lesions associated with disability in MS

Nature Reviews Neurology
 
 
doi:10.1038/nrneurol.2015.140
Published online
 

In patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), cortical lesions predict disability independently of white matter damage, according to a new study. The results, published in JAMA Neurology, underline the value of high-field-strength MRI in the assessment of patients with MS.
“Although MRI is currently an indispensable tool for making the diagnosis of…
Read more, here



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Basic Immunology and Multiple Sclerosis

Basic Immunology       and Multiple Sclerosis   Ben Thrower M. D. Shepherd MS Institute      Atlanta, GA

This is a topic that so many of us with MS hardly know anything about, with regards to  the Why, the What and so much more regarding Our Multiple Sclerosis.


Take a look at this topic showing by clicking this link or clicking on the image shown above.


  Information for this topic and as shown above, was provided by Ben Thrower, MD



   Please review then share with others by providing them with this link


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11 Things You Should Never Say to Someone with MS

Written by Ann Pietrangelo | Published on July 24, 2015
Medically Reviewed by The Healthline Medical Team on July 24, 2015


When you’re going through something that your friends and family don’t understand, they don’t always know what to say. Sometimes it can feel like they’re being insensitive, uncaring, or downright rude.

We asked people who are living with multiple sclerosis (MS) to tell us about the most irksome things people they know have said about it. Here’s a sampling of what those people said… and what they could have said.

you don't look sickyou look great
When you tell people with MS or other chronic “invisible” illnesses that they don’t look sick, they may feel like you’re dismissing their illness or accusing them of faking it. You can’t tell how someone with MS feels by the way they look. Telling them that they look good is a compliment, and asking how they feel acknowledges their reality.
you don't look sickyou look great
MS isn’t easier on the young, nor is it more likely to get better. Imagine being in the prime of your life and dealing with unpredictable neurological symptoms. The realization of having a chronic illness at a young age may be overwhelming. It’s better to simply offer your emotional and practical support.

you don't look sickyou look great
If you don’t know the facts, it’s best not to make assumptions. If they’re open to it, ask questions. Otherwise, take a few minutes of your time to learn the basics. MS is not contagious. In MS, the immune system mistakenly attacks myelin, the protective substance that surrounds nerve fibers. Over time, this causes lesions to form in the central nervous system. What sets off that process is unclear, but it may be a combination of things. Some avenues of research include genetic predisposition, infectious agents, and environmental factors.
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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

EMPOWERING an MS Community in America's Heartland - from Louisville, KY


Guest Speaker: Jenifer Patterson, APRN


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Women's Health and MS - from Sarasota Florida


Guest Speaker, Tricia Pagnotta, ARNP-C, MSN



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Health Care for Americans with Disabilities — 25 Years after the ADA

Georgina Peacock, M.D., M.P.H., Lisa I. Iezzoni, M.D., and Thomas R. Harkin, J.D.
July 30, 2015DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp1508854

Twenty-five years ago, on July 26, 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), designed to meet four goals for people with disabilities: equal opportunity, full participation in the community, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency. This landmark civil rights law aimed to prevent employment discrimination and give equal access to public and private services for all people with disabilities. At the signing ceremony, Bush exclaimed, “Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.”
Since the passage of the ADA, there have been extensive gains in access to public services, the built environment (e.g., crosswalks with curb cuts for wheelchair access and accessible pedestrian signals to assist people who are blind or have low vision), and attitudes toward and understanding of the abilities of people with disabilities. The ADA established a right to equal access to public services offered by governments and private providers and has demonstrated the importance of contributions that people with disabilities can make to our economy.
Yet despite these advances, substantial disparities remain in areas of employment, earned income, access to the Internet, transportation, housing, and educational attainment. Each of these disparities contributes to poorer health for this segment of our population.1 The recent Affordable Care Act (ACA) may help improve access to health care for people with disabilities, but the persistence of health disparities and barriers to health care indicates that more remains to be done.
Approximately 56.7 million Americans live with disabilities, with rates ranging from 8.4% among children under 15 years of age to 70.5% among adults over 80 years of age.2 Over our life spans, most of us will acquire disabilities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that among U.S. adults living in community settings, 22% have a disability, with prevalence in individual states ranging from 16% (Minnesota) to 31% (Alabama). These disability rates are similar to rates of key health problems such as diabetes and uncontrolled hypertension. The prevalence of disability is more than twice as high among unemployed adults as among employed adults (33.5% vs. 12.6%), about 25% higher among women than men (24.4% vs. 19.8%), and generally highest in the oldest age group (≥65 years).3 Given the increasing prevalence of diabetes, arthritis, and other chronic conditions, new interventions for extremely premature infants, and increased life expectancies for people with congenital conditions (e.g., spina bifida and congenital heart defects), the number of Americans with disabilities in all age groups is likely to increase.
Continue reading


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5 Tips for Living Better with MS: Patients and Caregivers

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is believed to be caused by the immune system wrongfully attacking a person’s own myelin, the fatty substance that insulates nerves and helps them send electrical signals to control movement, speech and other functions.
If you have MS or care about someone who does, you know that it can be a frustrating, unpredictable condition. It’s hard to tell when symptoms such as numbness, weakness, loss of balance and cognitive difficulties will complicate your life.
Here are some tips that can make it easier for patients and caregivers alike to deal with MS.

1. Eat for optimal health.

Everyone can benefit from a good diet, but especially people with chronic diseases such as MS. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society notes that there’s no special diet for MS, but that eating a diet low in fat and high in vitamins and fiber can help you feel better, while maximizing your energy and supporting healthy bladder and bowel function. A good diet supports caregivers too, with more energy, optimism and general health.
A better diet may actually be therapeutic for MS patients, since it can help them avoid metabolic syndrome, the all-too-common constellation of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, abdominal obesity and insulin resistance that puts patients at risk for developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions.
Peter Calabresi, M.D., an expert in MS at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, says, “Data around this point are hard to quantify, but our team is very interested in lifestyle modifications in patients with MS.
"There is mounting evidence that metabolic syndrome compounding MS is particularly lethal. We’re seeing that the so-called Western industrial lifestyle breeds autoimmune diseases like MS. It’s hard to get biomarkers, but we’re looking closely at the role of excessive sugar, animal fats and too much salt.”

2. Commit to regular exercise.

Research shows that people with MS who participate in an aerobic exercise program benefit from improved cardiovascular fitness, increased strength, better bladder and bowel function, and a more upbeat attitude.
Yoga, adaptive tai chi and water exercise are also excellent workouts for people with MS and anyone else, including busy caregivers who can benefit from stress management.

3. Address sleep issues.

MS can cause sleep problems, including insomnia, frequent nighttime urination, narcolepsy and leg spasms — over half of MS patients suffer with restless legs syndrome.
Dr. Calabresi says, “Sleep is very much underestimated in brain function. We know there’s a correlation between poor sleep and both Alzheimer’s and MS.
“It’s hard to tell which comes first, since people with MS have disrupted sleep patterns. There can be early morning awakening caused by depression and nighttime awakenings due to overactive bladder. But we do know that poor sleep correlates with poor daytime cognitive ability, which can affect patients’ ability to cope.”
Be proactive and ask your doctor for help, whether you’re suffering with MS or caring for someone who has it. Chronic illness can be exhausting, and MS patients and their caregivers both need as much quality sleep as they can get.

4. Customize your environment.




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Can Do Multiple Sclerosis Launches Online Photo Pledge Campaign to Ignite “Can Do” Spirit in People with MS and Their Loved Ones

– Can Do Multiple Sclerosis, an innovative provider of lifestyle empowerment programs for people with multiple sclerosis (MS), launched an online campaign today that encourages people with MS, as well as their friends and supporters to take on an activity, attitude or personal mission that they believe they can do. This annual initiative is part of Can Do Day, a campaign that raises awareness for MS and honors Can Do MS’s founder and Olympic medalist skier, Jimmie Heuga, on his birthday, September 22.

“Always seizing a new challenge, my father faced each day with the can do spirit,” said Blaze Heuga, son of Can Do MS Founder Jimmie Heuga. “He lived by the mantra that no matter the path laid out before you, you can climb to the top of the mountain.”

Campaign participants can visit Can Do MS’s interactive photo pledge wall and post a photo pledge committing to take on a goal that they know they can do. Goals can vary from taking an athletic activity to new heights or simply hanging out with friends. Once a photo pledge is posted, participants are encouraged to share their photo on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #CanDoDay to gain votes for their pledge and inspire others to participate.

On Can Do Day, September 22, 2015, the person with the most votes for their photo pledge will win a $50 gift certificate from Trek Light Gear, an Olympic ski poster autographed by Jimmie Heuga, Billy Kidd and Pepi Stiegler, and a Can Do MS apparel fleece vest, messenger bag and water bottle. If a participant’s photo pledge receives at least 300 votes, he or she will also be entered to win a Mountainsmith Approach backpack.

Jimmie Heuga, a pioneer in the MS care management field was diagnosed with MS in 1970. At the time of his diagnosis, Heuga was advised to avoid physical activity to preserve his health. As a high-caliber athlete, he rebelled against his prescribed sedentary lifestyle and began developing his own program of exercise, which caused his condition to improve. He not only realized the power of exercise, nutrition, positive thinking and movement to enhance his life with MS, but more importantly, he also found that by focusing on what he could do rather than what he could not, he was able to go beyond perceived limitations to live his best life with MS.

MS is a chronic neurological disorder that affects the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves.
  
Get involved today by sharing your Can Do Day photo pledge on Can Do MS’s website or Facebook page at www.mscando.org/candoday

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Gilenya (fingolimod): Drug Safety Communication - FDA Warns About Cases of Rare Brain Infection (PML)

August 4, 2015

ISSUE:
FDA is warning that a case of definite progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) and a case of probable PML have been reported in patients taking Gilenya (fingolimod) for multiple sclerosis (MS). These are the first cases of PML reported in patients taking Gilenya who had not been previously treated with an immunosuppressant drug for MS or any other medical condition. As a result, information about these recent cases is being added to the drug label.


BACKGROUND: Gilenya is an immunomodulator shown to benefit patients with relapsing forms of MS. This type of MS causes attacks or relapses, which are periods of time when symptoms get worse. Immunomodulators alter the immune system to reduce inflammation. PML is a rare and serious brain infection caused by the John Cunningham (JC) virus. The JC virus is a common virus that is harmless in most people but can cause PML in some patients who have weakened immune systems, including those taking immunosuppressant drugs.

In an August 2013 Drug Safety Communication, FDA reported that a patient developed PML after taking Gilenya. PML could not be conclusively linked to Gilenya in this case because prior to Gilenya treatment the patient had been treated with an immunosuppressant drug that can cause PML and during Gilenya treatment the patient had received multiple courses of intravenous corticosteroids, which can weaken the immune system.

RECOMMENDATION: Patients taking Gilenya should contact their health care professionals right away if they experience symptoms such as new or worsening weakness; increased trouble using their arms or legs; or changes in thinking, eyesight, strength, or balance. Patients should not stop taking Gilenya without first discussing it with their health care professionals. Health care professionals should stop Gilenya and perform a diagnostic evaluation if PML is suspected. See the Drug Safety Communication for additional recommendations.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Pfizer and Synthon Enter Into U.S. Commercialization Agreement for Potential Generic Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis

Synthon’s glatiramer acetate, a potential generic version of Copaxone®1 for the treatment of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis is currently being reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
NEW YORK & NIJMEGEN, Netherlands--()--Pfizer Inc. and Synthon, an international pharmaceutical company specializing in the development of complex generic medicines, today announced they have entered into an agreement whereby Pfizer has acquired the exclusive commercialization rights in the United States to glatiramer acetate, a potential generic version of the originator medicine Copaxone® for the treatment of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
In November 2011, Synthon filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a once daily 20mg/ml formulation of glatiramer acetate. In early 2014, Synthon filed an ANDA for a three times a week 40mg/ml formulation of glatiramer acetate with the FDA. In addition, Synthon believes its glatiramer acetate 40mg/ml filing may be eligible for 180 days of shared marketing exclusivity under the provisions of the Hatch-Waxman Act.
“Neurologic diseases such as multiple sclerosis represent some of the most debilitating illnesses of our time,” said Diem Nguyen, regional president of North America, Pfizer Global Established Pharma business. “Pfizer’s significant experience in successfully bringing meaningful medicines to market together with Synthon’s scientific expertise in neurodegenerative diseases will enable us to leverage our core capabilities in support of improving patient health in the United States.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer will have exclusive rights to commercialize both dosage formulations of Synthon’s glatiramer acetate in the United States. Synthon is responsible for the clinical development, manufacture and supply of glatiramer acetate. Pfizer is solely responsible for the commercialization of glatiramer acetate in the United States. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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