I must have registered on an MS website (can't remember when) and received the following today - which is a good summary of future treatments.
Hello and welcome to:
MSnewsChannel.com Drug Alert #41: "DR. VOLLMER'S INFORMAL SYNOPSIS:
NEW TREATMENTS FOR MS"
There are two parts to todays Alert...
The first is a MS news Channel exclusive..."Dr. Vollmer's informal
Synopsis: New Treatments For MS"
Dr. Timothy Vollmer is Chairman of the Division of Neurology at
Barrow Neurological Institute - St Joseph's Hospital & Medical Center.
Dr. Vollmer wrote the following informal synopsis for me...at my
request...so that I could keep you informed of these wonderful new
I encourage you to forward ALERT #41: "Dr. Vollmer's informal
Synopsis: New Treatments For MS" to everyone in your computer's
address book who has been affected by MS!
But...Please forward this entire Alert: do not cut & paste.
Plus...we will gladly approve of your using this Alert or part of it
in all newletters, newspapers, etc....but...please contact me 1st for
The 2nd and last part of today's alert consists of 28 headlines that
I have picked from the 188 that we have posted over the last 2 weeks
THE 28 HEADLINES INCLUDE 18 NEW MS
TREATMENTS THAT ARE IN THE PIPELINE!
Stan L. Swartz
Swartz Neuroscience Foundation at
BARROW NEUROLOGICAL INSTITUTE
St Joseph's Hospital & Medical Center
Copyright 2006 MS News Channel
DR. TIMOTHY VOLLMER'S EXCLUSIVE REPORT FOR MSnewsChannel.com: New
treatments for MS
I am writing you a brief informal synopsis of recent events related
to developing treatments for MS.
All of these agents are still “works in progress” but data to date
is very encouraging.
It is also remarkable that we are not talking about one major advance but
rather four treatments, each of which is significantly different
from the others.
In addition, some of these treatments are being studied in the
progressive form of MS and study results in progressive patients may
be available within the next year.
I am very pleased with these recent reports but need to caution your
readers that these are all relatively short term studies and results
from longer term studies will be key to our eventual understanding of the
potential use of these treatment strategies in MS.
However, such studies for these agents are either already
underway or about to start.
1....COMBINATION TREATMENT STRATEGIES:
As we all know certain other areas of medicine, such as AIDS and
cancer, have seen major improvements in treatment effectiveness by
using agents in combination.Over the past several years there have been reports of small uncontrolled trials using chemotherapies such as cyclophosphamide and mitoxantrone in combination with interferons or glatiramer acetate. These reports have suggested that substantial increases in efficacy can be seen with such combinations.
This was supported by a recent report out of England concerning an
ongoing study of the combination of glatiramer acetate (Copaxone) and
mitoxantrone (Novantrone).At an international meeting of MS researchers and clinicians (ECTRIMS) held in Madrid, we reported on our 5 center study of a short course of mitoxantrone (Novantrone) followed by long term treatment with glatiramer acetate (Copaxone).
The study was randomized and compared this treatment to standard
glatiramer treatment alone.Our study demonstrated a 90% decrease in new lesions seen by MRI after the induction treatment with mitoxantrone followed by glatiramer for up to 2 years. Safety was good.
The study is still ongoing and 3 year data will be available next
year. A large study is now being planned. Other similar studies are
demonstrating the same findings.This may be an important option for patients with more active MS because there is no long term generalized immunosuppression. Other combinations are also being studied.
My personal belief is that these approaches are likely to lead to the most
effective treatments with the best safety profile over the long
term, but we will have to wait and see.
This is a monoclonal antibody that deletes only immune cells which
results in generalized immunosuppression.Preliminary data from a phase II study suggests a marked reduction in disease activity as measured by MRI and reduction of relapse rate and possibly disability progression.
This is an IV injection given once or twice a year. There have been
a few serious complications related to development of other
autoimmune diseases and an increase in infections. Longer term
studies are underway. This therapy is already approved for treatment of certain cancers of the blood and may be useful for aggressive MS but the results of the longer term studies will be necessary before we know if this agent has a role in the treatment of MS.
3....FINGOLIMOD PREVIOUSLY KNOWN AS FTY 720:
This is an oral agent in a new class of medications that causes
immune cells to stay in the immune organs such as the spleen and
lymph nodes and prevents their migration into other organs such as
the brain. Phase II studies have reported a large treatment effect on MRI
evidence of disease activity in MS with around a 80-90% decrease in
new lesion formation and around a 60% reduction in relapse rate.
There are increases in infections and effects on other organs. A
phase III study is underway to evaluate longer term safety and efficacy.
The magnitude of the treatment effect is remarkable and if the safety
holds up this may be a valuable treatment option in a few years.
This is another monoclonal antibody like Tysabri and Campath.
However it targets B lymphocytes only. Over the last few years there have been three reports of rituximab treatment in MS including
progressive MS which indicated benefit. They were small uncontrolled
studies. However, in the last few weeks there was a press release concerning the results of a larger phase II study in RRMS that stated the
results were greater than expected. The actual results have not been
released yet.This molecule is of particular interest to many of us in the field because it attacks an immune cell that we think may be important to MS disease activity and possibly to the progressive phase of the
disease. In fact, there is a large phase III multicenter study of this agent inprimary progressive MS, the results of which may also become
available within the next year.Rituxumab is currently approved for use in B cell lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis. So we already have a lot of safety data about this agent which is important in determining in whom to use the therapy.If Rituxumab's treatment effect is comparable to or greater than current treatments, it may become an important therapy in MS and one with excellent tolerability by patients because it is an IV infusion done once each 6 months or so.It does suppress a part of the immune system to a degree but current data does suggest good safety at least over two years. In my view this is an important therapy to watch as study results become available in part because it may tell us something important about the biology of MS.
There are a lot of other agents in the testing phase in MS many of
which are oral.
The future looks very bright for better, more effective treatments
for MS on the near horizon.
We are not talking the usual ten years before the next major advance,
rather possibly the next 10 months.
These are not cures, but they appear to offer the potential of
treatment effects much closer to that goal than we have ever achieved
T. Vollmer, MD
Timothy Vollmer, M.D.
Chairman, Division of Neurology
Barrow Neurological Institute
Copyright 2006 MS NewsChannel
HERE'S THE BEST OF THE 188 HEADLINES THAT HAVE BEEN POSTED DURING THE LAST
2 WEEKS ON: www.MSnewsChannel.com
READ THE STORIES BEHIND THE FOLLOWING 32 HEADLINES BY CLICKING HERE:
1...TYSABRI HELPS COGNITION: Tysabri reduced the risk of sustained
cognitive worsening by 43 percent, compared to placebo.....
2...CAMPATH: "Genzyme Says MS Drug Works Better Than Serono's Rebif"
3...ORAL FINGOLIMOD - FTY720: Presented at ECTRIMS
Oral FTY720 (Fingolimod) for Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis Shows
Sustained Benefits for Up to 2 Years
4....NEW REBIF AUTO-INJECTOR WHICH USES THE THINNEST NEEDLE OF ANY
TREATMENT: ECTRIMS Presentation on new-improved Rebif PLUS It's new
auto-injector. New Formulation Rebif for Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis
Lowers Immunogenicity and Improves Tolerability
5...ORAL LAQUINIMODE BY TEVA: The NEW once-daily novel oral agent for
6...ORAL CLADRIBINE BY SERONO: FDA fast-tracks Serono's oral MS drug
7...ORAL FAMPRIDINE-SR: Patients who took Fampridine-SR moved 25
percent faster ontimed 25-foot walk, while patients getting a placebo
improved 4.7 percent, Hawthorne
8...FATIGUE AND FUNCTIONAL DEFICIT IMPROVEMENT: Four-week Rehab
Significantly Improves Fatigue and Functional Deficit in Multiple
Sclerosis Patients: Presented at ECTRIMS. Fatigue and functional
deficits in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients were significantly
improved during 4 weeks of inpatient rehabilitation, researchers
reported here at the 22nd Congress of the European Committee for
Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS)....
9...SATIVEX - CANNABINOID-BASED SPRAY APPEARS HELPFUL FOR SPASTICITY
IN MS: Presented at ECTRIMS
10...SATIVEX: Cannabis-Based Spray Shows Positive Impact on
Overactive Bladder Symptoms of MS: Presented at ECTRIMS
11...CDP323: NEW DRUG IN PIPELINE - Biogen Idec:
"Biogen Idec and UCB and to collaborate on oral multiple sclerosis
therapy U.C.B. and BIIB announce a global collaboration to jointly
develop and commercialize CDP323 for the treatment of relapsing-
remitting multiple sclerosis...
12...TYSABRI: New Data on Demonstrate Significant Reduction in
Steroid Use and Hospitalizations in Patients with MS
13...COPAXONE New Data Confirmed Antibodies to Copaxone® Do Not
Impact Its Established and Sustained Long-Term Efficacy in Multiple
14...COPAXONE WITH MITOXANTRONE: Very Active Multiple Sclerosis
Patients Benefited From COPAXONE(R) Treatment Following Short-Term
Induction With Mitoxantrone
15...AVONEX PRESS RELEASE FROM ECTRIMS
....treatment with AVONEX (Interferon beta-1a) promoted a
statistically significant recovery of T1-black hole lesion volume by
16...LYRICA: Pfizer's Lyrica(Pregabalin Capsules) Approved in Europe
for Difficult-to-Treat Nerve Pain.
17...MBP8298: NEW DRUG IN PIPELINE shown to safely delay disease
progression for five years in progressive MS patients with HLA-DR2 or
HLA-DR4 immune response genes. BioMS Medical to present at the 22nd
Congress of the European Com mittee for Treatment and Research in
Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) :
18..."Testosterone gel proven to slow symptoms of MS...in small
study": UCLA School of Medicine,
19...TYSABRI - Presented at ECTRIMS
Natalizumab (Tysabri) Reduces Brain Atrophy, Improves Cognition
During Second Year of Multiple Sclerosis Treatment
20...TOVAXIN: New drug in the pipeline
21...REBIF: NEW FORMULATION: ONE-YEAR DATA FROM PHASE III TRIAL SHOW
THAT NEW FORMULATION OF REBIF® OFFERS SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT IN
TOLERABILITY AND IMMUNOGENICITY PROFILES...[click for full press
22...BETAFERON: Causes Less Injection Site Pain and Injection Site
Reactions Than Rebif in Patients With MS: Presented at ECTRIMS
23...SYMADEX...NEW DRUG ANNOUNCEMENT FROM ECTRIMS
Symadex Can Reverse Disease in Preclinical Multiple Sclerosis Animal
24...NICOTINAMIDE: "Daily Nicotinamide Shots May Protect MS Patients
From Severe Disability"
25...Gene found that helps combat MS [MORE: BBC NEWS]
A gene that helps to stave off the effects of multiple sclerosis (MS) has
been discovered by scientists. A Danish-UK team found that a
known risk gene for MS, called DR2b, is always partnered by a twin
gene - DR2a....
26...Novantrone (mitoxantrone)... Safety and Tolerability of
Mitoxantrone for Worsening Multiple Sclerosis Appears Stable in Long
Term: Presented at ECTRIMS...
27...Age Should Not Deter Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis: Presented at
28...MBP8298: New Drug in the Pipeline: "MBP8298 shown to safely
delay disease progression for five years in progressive MS patients
with HLA-DR2 or HLA-DR4 immune response genes - Presented at
ECTRIMS...A message from Ryan Giese
29...NovaDel Announces Two CNS Oral Spray Drug Candidates in its
Development Pipeline; Oral Spray Formulations of Tizanidine for
30...PPMS: Small Study Holds Hope For chronic progressive patients
with MS [PPMS]
31...COPAXONE(R) Showed Sustained Benefit on Slowing Brain Tissue
Damage in Multiple Sclerosis Patients - Data presented at ECTRIMS
32...Age Should Not Deter Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis: Presented at
ECTRIMS: In a new study of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS)
after the age of 60, nearly half of relapsing patients with
relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and patients with
clinically isolated syndrome presented with signs of inflammation on
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
READ THE STORIES BEHIND THE 32 HEADLINES BY CLICKING HERE:
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