MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Mayzent Approval Surprises, Myelin Repair, Monitoring Nerve Inflammation

MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Mayzent Approval Surprises, Myelin Repair, Monitoring Nerve Inflammation

Cleveland Clinic Neurologist Applauds Mayzent’s FDA Approval, But Surprised by Those It May Not Treat

When I wrote my “MS Wire” column a few days after Mayzent’s approval, I wondered why the FDA had OK’d the medication for active secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), but not for nonactive SPMS. That seemed strange to me, and I’m apparently not alone. Dr. Robert Fox thinks that there are other odd things about this approval.

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the disease-modifying therapy Mayzent (siponimod) for relapsing types of multiple sclerosis (MS), it specified in its label that the treatment was for people with clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), and — importantly — secondary progressive MS (SPMS) provided they have “active” disease.

The approval is good news, an MS researcher and physician said to Multiple Sclerosis News Today in an interview, but “surprising” in that the FDA’s decision was largely based on a trial that didn’t involve CIS patients and wasn’t focused on responses among particular types of SPMS.

Click here to read the full story.

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Tiny DNA Molecule May Help Development of Myelin Repair Therapies, Study Suggests

I know this is just a mouse study and that mouse studies are a long way away from the day that a treatment becomes available, if it ever does. But any research on remyelination attracts my attention. And because this DNA molecule is said to be easy and inexpensive to produce, as well as carrying a low risk of triggering an immune response, this study is worth a read.

A shortened DNA molecule showed an increased ability to bind myelin in human cells, and may boost the development of remyelination approaches for multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment, according to a study.

The study, “Optimization of a 40-mer Antimyelin DNA Aptamer Identifies a 20-mer with Enhanced Properties for Potential Multiple Sclerosis Therapy,” was published in the journal Nucleic Acid Therapeutics.

Click here to read the full story.

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Analysis of TWEAK Protein Levels May Help Identify Active Inflammation in MS Patients, Study Suggests

Neurologists have tools to track MS progression, but there aren’t many. There are physical tests and, of course, there’s the MRI. But this study indicates that doctors might, at some point, be able to use a blood test to track inflammation of our nerves and in doing that, better monitor and manage our MS symptoms.

High blood levels of a signaling protein known as TWEAK are associated with active neuroinflammation in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), a study shows.

This finding suggests that TWEAK may be a valuable biomarker to assess ongoing inflammation and overall MS activity, and potentially help optimize patient care.

Click here to read the full story.

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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.

Ed Tobias Editor
Ed Tobias is a retired broadcast journalist. Most of his 40+ year career was spent as a manager with the Associated Press in Washington, DC. Tobias was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1980 but he continued to work, full-time, meeting interesting people and traveling to interesting places, until retiring at the end of 2012.
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Ed Tobias Editor
Ed Tobias is a retired broadcast journalist. Most of his 40+ year career was spent as a manager with the Associated Press in Washington, DC. Tobias was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1980 but he continued to work, full-time, meeting interesting people and traveling to interesting places, until retiring at the end of 2012.
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5 comments

  1. Phen Nom says:

    Mayzent is jus another therapy option for everyone but the poor with MS. I say that as someone who works promoting Mayzent, I am too poor to afford any treatment.

    • Valerie says:

      I’m firmly in the middle class, but I certainly won’t be taking this at $88,000 a year. Any company that prices possibly life altering treatments at 1000% above their profit margin is about as unethical as the mafia. This is a great example of why we need single payer health coverage in the USA!

      • Ed Tobias says:

        Hello Valerie,

        I totally hear what you’re saying. However, please keep two things in mind.

        First, the cost of the 16 or 17 DMTs that are currently approved in the US to treat MS ranges from about $70,000 to over $100,000 a year. So, an $88,000 price tag, though it may be excessive, is in line with the cost of the other DMTs that are available.

        Second, when judging an MS medication consideration should be given to the medications cost effectiveness, i.e. comparing its lifetime costs with the number of expected exacerbations, quality of life and life expectancy. I wrote a column about this two years ago. https://multiplesclerosisnewstoday.com/2017/02/17/ms-drug-costs-elephant-examination-room/

        Ed

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