The study, “Reducing return of disease activity in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis transitioned from natalizumab to teriflunomide: 12-month interim results of teriflunomide therapy,” was published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis Journal – Experimental, Translation and Clinical.
Inflammation is a hallmark of MS, and it contributes to the neurological impairment associated with the disease. Disease-modifying therapies have been developed to destroy, suppress, or alter the pro-inflammatory behavior of cells.
However, the use of Tysabri has been associated with an increased risk of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare infection of the brain caused by the John Cunningham virus (JCV).
This PML risk has prompted physicians to discontinue Tysabri treatment in a large percentage of patients. However, studies have reported that patients often develop heightened MS disease activity, higher rates of relapse of increased severity, and relapse-related fatalities, after Tysabri withdrawal.
To date, there is limited data on successful therapeutic strategies that can help patients transition off Tysabri, while reducing the risk of disease reactivation.
So, researchers conducted a Phase 4 clinical trial (NCT01970410) to assess the use of Aubagio (marketed by Sanofi Genzyme) as a replacement therapy for clinically stable patients with relapsing MS being taken off Tysabri due to prior JCV exposure.
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