Antegren question

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Antegren question

Postby bromley » Mon Sep 13, 2004 12:00 pm

Antegren looks like the next big thing in MS treatment, but when is it likely to come to the market in the US (no doubt sufferers in the UK will have to wait a couple of years!)? Is it likely to be much better than the performance of the current drugs for modifying this disease (I've had one attack so am not eligible to start any ABC treatment)?

What else is in the pipeline - say three years down the line? It's good that this site is collecting information on research / trials but it would also be good if someone (with the technical skills) could put together a chart / timeline of potential treatments coming to the market in the next 3-5 years. I need some hope to keep me going!

My neurologist is playing a 'wait and see game' before suggesting any treatment. Is this a UK approach or do other countries follow this approach?
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Postby Xenova » Mon Sep 13, 2004 2:04 pm

Antegren is supposed to be available early '05 pending approval in the US. There should be no delay in the UK as it is being produced by both Elan and Biogen Idec in a co-marketing agreement. Elan discovered Antegren and is producing it for Europe. I don't know how the approval process works in the UK.

There is a "Drug Pipeline" section in the forums here that discuss many upcoming treatments. If you do a narrow Google search, you can find many more.

I've learned not to get too excited until a drug is in phase 3 trials. You'll read great things about a treatment being found very effective in working in mice but those results don't always translate in human trials.

I don't think 'wait and see' is a cultural thing. Certain neurologists tend to play that game but that could be a good thing.
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Postby JFH » Tue Sep 14, 2004 1:59 am

Hi Bromley

My reading of the NICE * guidelines suggests to me that if you have been given a diagnosis of RRMS and have had TWO relapses in past two years then you should be offered B-Interferon or Copaxone. [ ] Just how these guidelines are implemented from area to area and nuerologist to neurologist I'm sure varies widely - back to postcode lottery! But more significantly what constitues a relapse?!

I've found the dietary arguments of Prof Swank [ ] and of Prof Jelinek [ <shortened url> ] quite convincing and gives me something I can do for me today indpendently of any research institute or pharmacutecal company.

* For nonUK folk: NICE is our FDA - nearly.
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Postby Felly » Tue Sep 14, 2004 2:07 pm

To add to the above, two relapses is not entirely correct. They have to be clinicaly significant relapses not just relapses. This is the regulations applied by the ABN (association of British Neurologists).

This is why I was first turned down for treatment as not in a million years would my relapses be considered clinically significant if applying a purist criteria.

In any event, I found this little paragraph in a DOH circular (Series Number: HSC 2002/004) which also states

"there is no bar to clinicians prescribing and Health Authorities and NHS Trusts funding beta-interferon and glatiramer acetate for patients who do not fall within the ABN guidelines where they judge it clinically necessary;"

And I got on treatment!

With regard to antegren - in theory there is no reason why it shouldn't be in the Uk around the same time as North America. However, in reality because of NICE and the ABN it is unlikely to be such a simple process. Because the NHS would need to provide these drugs the likelihood is it will go through the same process as with the ABCRs and the cost will be a big issue.

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