MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Lemtrada, Copaxone Generic, ATL1102 Trial, and Brain Stimulation

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by Ed Tobias |

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Lemtrada Prevented Progression of Multiple Sclerosis for Five Years, Study Shows

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.

Two short courses of Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) prevented multiple sclerosis from becoming active and progressing for five years, a study reported.

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.


FDA Approves Mylan’s Generic Copaxone, Introducing First Generic High-Dose Version

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.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved both lower and higher doses of Mylan’s generic versions of Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) for relapsing multiple sclerosis.

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.


Non-invasive Brain Stimulation Reduces MS Fatigue, NYU Study Shows

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?

Non-invasive brain stimulation reduces fatigue in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, concludes a study by researchers at New York University (NYU).

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.


Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.


J R avatar


I would love to see these articles also written in MS friendly dialogue.

Short, quick and concise sentences. That's it.

Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Jane,

Thanks for the comment and I agree. I'm passing your suggestion along to MS News Today's Managing Editor.



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