The only really useful part of this study, as I see it, is to look into different biomarkers for responsiveness among the patients. That was one of the big questions I had when presented with the CRAB choices - which (if any) would most effectively work for me? Is there any way to tell? Should I just pick one and hope I made the best choice? DO I FEEL LUCKY?? That's what it comes down to. In the absence of any better treatments, such information about existing treatments is critical, but I don't believe it exists, at least not in a form available to clinicians actually prescribing the drug.
I had read there was a researcher at Baylor in TX that was developing a screen for newly diagnosed MS patients that would indicate their degree of individual responsiveness to CRABs so they could make the best pick. I don't know if anything has come of that research.
Since I know I can't tolerate Copaxone and probably can't tolerate a RAB, either, I wonder how many people will make the cut of being able to tolerate BOTH for three years (and then presumably beyond). Seven days a week of Copaxone and weekly IM Avonex. Ouch. Even if they work together a little better than each one alone, would it be worth it?? The gain of the two together would have to be pretty significant. Injections aside - the costs of both medications would be very expensive, running up to $20K+ a year. Their secondary objective is safety and tolerability. I don't know about safety, but I suspect the tolerability is going to be a bottleneck before they get to their primary endpoint of counting relapse reduction, unless they get an especially stoic group of subjects. They mention a small pilot study that indicated safety. I wonder how long the pilot study ran. Anyone know?