Researchers looked at the immune cell mix after Lemtrada depleted many of those cells. They discovered that certain B-cells repopulate the body earlier than key regulatory T-cells, leading to an imbalanced immune system that is prone to turn on itself.
Although the findings pertained specifically to Lemtrada, they suggest that naturally occurring immune cell imbalance could lead to autoimmune diseases, researchers said.
The insight opens the door to scientists developing ways to counter the imbalance to protect MS patients from additional diseases
A key lesson from the study was the importance of fully analyzing and publishing clinical-trial information.
The research, “Interpreting Lymphocyte Reconstitution Data From the Pivotal Phase 3 Trials of Alemtuzumab,” was published in the journal JAMA Neurology.
Researchers from Queen Mary University of London used a Freedom of Information request to the European Medicines Agency to obtain full results of the Phase 3 clinical trials of Lemtrada.
Scientists know that many people who take Lemtrada develop autoimmune diseases. Those who conducted the trials had presented some of the unpublished information at conferences, but had yet to submit studies involving those results to scientific journals.
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