New MS drug on licensing fast track
Daily Post (Liverpool) - Aug. 31, 2006
A NEW drug to treat multiple sclerosis has been accepted for a fast-track assessment process by the Government's health watchdog.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) is assessing Natalizumab, marketed as Tysabri, under its faster Single Technology Assessment (STA) process.
The drug was licensed for use throughout the EU in June after clinical trials found it slowed the progression of the disease and reduced relapses.
The Multiple Sclerosis Society's chief executive, Simon Gillespie, said: "We welcome the news that Tysabri will go through Nice's STA process, which should ensure that a decision is taken over whether the NHS will fund this drug in the shortest possible time.
"Given the impressive results we believe there is a strong case for making it available on the NHS to those who stand to benefit."
Dr Gavin Giovannoni, of the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, said: "Natalizumab represents the most significant advance in MS treatment in nearly a decade."