MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Lemtrada, Copaxone Generic, ATL1102 Trial, and Brain Stimulation
Full disclosure: I’m being treated with Lemtrada, so any news about it lights up my radar like a Christmas tree. I’m 10 months post-round 1 and am doing well — and this news looks like it’s pretty good. Lemtrada, the study says, is doing what it’s designed to do over a long-term … and with 60% of patients requiring only the standard course of treatment. But that also means that 40% of study subjects needed more time to keep their MS at bay. So, read past the first few paragraphs to make sure you get the full story.
Lemtrada’s maker, Sanofi-Genzyme, said the study covered the two-year CARE-MS II Phase 3 clinical trial (NCT00548405) and a long-term extension (NCT00930553) trial of people with relapsing-remitting MS.
There were a couple generic approvals for MS DMTs this week. One of them is of high interest because it’s for a highly used drug: the high-dose version of Copaxone. A lot of patients prefer it to the low-dose version because it’s a three-times-a-week shot, rather than a daily one.
It is the first time the agency has authorized a higher-dose generic.
FDA Clears Antisense Therapeutics to Proceed with Phase 2b Trial of ATL1102 in RRMS and SPMS Patients
Good news and not-so-good news on this one. FDA approval to continue studying a drug that’s aimed at both RRMS and SPMS is great. We need more therapies targeting SPMS. (It would sure be nice to see something for PPMS one of these days, but that’s another issue.) The news that’s not as great is that the FDA still, apparently, has some concerns about the drug trial. So, it’s limiting the study to a low dose and limiting the time that the drug can be used.
Antisense Therapeutics announced that it is proceeding with a Phase 2b clinical trial of ATL1102, its lead candidate to treat multiple sclerosis, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lifted a clinical hold it had placed on the company’s request — in the form of a trial application or IND — for this study.
A partial trial restriction, however, remains in place. The FDA agreed to allow for the Phase 2b trial, but patients — intended to be a mix of 195 people with relapsing or remitting (RRMS) and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) — can only be given ATL1102 infusions at a low dose, 25 mg per week, and only up to six months.
I’d like to be a subject in this trial right now. Writing this column is like pulling teeth tonight, because I’m tired and I don’t want to focus. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could strap on a helmet and wake up my brain?
Their study, “Remotely supervised transcranial direct current stimulation for the treatment of fatigue in multiple sclerosis: Results from a randomized, sham-controlled trial,” appeared in the Multiple Sclerosis Journal.
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