WSJ reporting 5th case of PML

A board to discuss the newly-released drug Tysabri, (formerly known as Antegren) as a treatment for Multiple Sclerosis

WSJ reporting 5th case of PML

Postby Xenova » Mon Jun 13, 2005 10:25 am

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Lack of response speaks volumes on suspected PML case

Postby better2gether » Tue Jun 14, 2005 3:49 am

From Goodbodys.

Elan

Lack of response speaks volumes on suspected PML case.

Yesterday, media reports indicated that a fifth suspected case of PML was reported through the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System on 16 May. Potentially prescribed Tysabri rather than in clinical trails, the patient was apparently on dual therapy of Tysabri plus Avonex and was also on four other drugs including Cellcept.

This drug is commonly given to transplant patients and carries a black box warning on its immunosuppressive side-effects, which can lead to increased susceptibility to infection and the possible development of lymphoma.

Given
(i) that the suspected case was reported a month ago;
(ii) that no statement has been released by either Elan or Biogen Idec on the case; and
(iii) the level of corporate activity and tenor of public statements by Elan over the past month while knowing of this case,
we continue to believe from the information currently available that this, along with the fourth suspected case, is not deemed material to the progress of Tysabri through the review process.

It is understandable that, after the withdrawal of Tysabri from the market, prescribing physicians will be extremely cautious. As such, they will be more likely to report any abnormalities in patients that were on Tysabri to the FDA.

We believe, therefore, that there may be a number of such reports in the system that could come out under the disclosure of information act over the coming months. However, it is not the existence of such reports that is material, rather Elan and Biogen Idec's response. As such, under current regulatory conditions, we believe the market will be informed of material events, if any, in the Tysabri review by the companies well before it is "revealed" through freedom of information channels.
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Re: Lack of response speaks volumes on suspected PML case

Postby HarryZ » Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:23 am

Better,

It really isn't surprising at the "jumpy" nature of the press, financial markets or MS patients when it comes to the current Tysabri situation. The letters "PML" throw all of these people into a cold shudder every time they are mentioned and over-reaction is but one problem. This is not going to change until some scientific information can be tabulated about the connection between Tysabri and PML. And we don't know yet when that is going to happen.

You mention that we have to wait for the proper info to come from Biogen/Elan on this....hmmm, not exactly a great situation to be in given their past record!

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Postby DenverCO » Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:58 pm

If the next promising MS drug is still several years away, the FDA has got to consider patient input in the decision to move forward with Tysabri. Many of us (who could benefit from Tysabri NOW) might be toast by then.
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Postby HarryZ » Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:11 pm

DenverCO wrote:If the next promising MS drug is still several years away, the FDA has got to consider patient input in the decision to move forward with Tysabri. Many of us (who could benefit from Tysabri NOW) might be toast by then.


I don't know how much the FDA listens to patients who call them about a particular drug. I suspect they would take their direction from science but even that can be altered to make a point.

If and when the researchers can provide the FDA with some kind of info on just how Tysabri and PML are related, then they might consider allowing the drug to be used under the strictest of conditions and a "black box" warning.

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