MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: Cortrophin Gel, Simvastatin, COVID-19 Treatments

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by Ed Tobias |

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Cortrophin Gel Now Available in US at AllianceRx Walgreens Prime

Cortrophin Gel is similar to Achtar Gel, which was, until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent re-approval of Cortrophin, the only repository corticotropin injection available in the U.S. Cortrophin Gel is a naturally produced cortisol that is expected to reduce inflammation and help ease multiple sclerosis (MS) relapses.

Cortrophin Gel (repository corticotropin injection), an injectable gel medication approved for acute flares in multiple sclerosis (MS) and other chronic autoimmune diseases, is now available through the AllianceRx Walgreens Prime specialty pharmacy to patients living in the U.S.

First approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the 1950s for a range of autoimmune diseases, the medication had fallen out of use for a few decades.

It was relaunched earlier this year by ANI Pharmaceuticals.

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Results From Trial of Simvastatin for SPMS Expected in 2025

I’ve been pushing for more treatments for people with progressive MS for years, so I have to take note when there’s news about a new secondary progressive MS (SPMS) medication that’s being tested. Actually, it’s an old medication, but its use for MS patients is what’s new.

Simvastatin is a statin, a class of medication that is widely used to help lower cholesterol. Besides that, statins have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties that make them good candidates for treating MS. A previous Phase 2 study tested it against a placebo in 140 SPMS patients for two years. Results suggested that the treatment lessened brain atrophy and slowed the progression of physical disability and cognitive decline.

Fingers crossed that this cholesterol medication will also be useful for treating SPMS.

MS-STAT2, a clinical trial testing whether the cholesterol-lowering medication simvastatin might slow disability progression in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), has finished enrollment.

A total of 964 people are now in the trial (NCT03387670), making it the largest progressive MS trial not run by a commercial company (MS-STAT2 is sponsored by University College London). Results from the trial are expected in 2025.

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3 New COVID-19 Treatments Now Available to MS Patients in UK

In the U.K., people with MS are considered to be at higher risk for becoming seriously ill with COVID-19, particularly those on disease-modifying therapies that suppress the immune system. So, they’re eligible for some new treatments, if they’re necessary.

Those MS patients should receive word of their eligibility for these treatments via a letter or email from the National Health Service. All those eligible will be given a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to keep at home so that they can do testing as soon as possible if they develop COVID-19 symptoms. If the PCR test is positive, an expert from an NHS COVID Medicines Delivery Unit will phone to review it and discuss the most appropriate treatment.

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) living in the U.K. are now eligible to receive one of three new treatments for COVID-19 that are meant to prevent serious disease in at-risk populations who tested positive for the virus.

First available under this plan were Regeneron and Roche’s antibody-based therapy Ronapreve (casirivimab/imdevimab), and the antiviral pill Lagevrio (molnupiravir), developed by Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD; known as Merck in North America). Xevudy (sotrovimab), an antibody developed by GSK and Vir Biotechnology, also was recently added to the list.

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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, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Comments

allan kyte avatar

allan kyte

Dear Sir,
My wife ,who is now 70,contracted SPMS in 40's her and is now a bed /wheelchair bound quadriplegic who
suffers from agonising pain spasms all over her body and particularly her neck .
WOULD THE AFOREMENTIONEDNEW PRODUCTS HELP TO RELIEVE THE AGONISING PAIN THAT SHE REGULARLY
SUFFERS FROM ?
ALLAN KYTE

Reply
Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Allan,

I wish I had an answer for you but I don't. MS treats everyone differently. The symptoms vary and a treatment that works well for one person doesn't, necessarily, work for another. I'm not a health care professional, so I'm not in a position to offer specific advice. However, Dr. Aaron Boster is an MS specialist who really knows his stuff. I'd suggest that you take a look at his YouTube channel, where he presents a lot of very useful advice. I hope some of it can help ease your wife's pain.

Ed

Reply
Suzie Lee avatar

Suzie Lee

I am a 64 year old woman diagnosed in 2001 I had an exacerbation 5 years ago that left me feeling as though the right side of my body is on fire. I can no longer sleep because as I dose off my brain says... get up, you,re on fire, put it out. No joke. I was told the pain center in my brain that controls the right side of my body was damaged in the MS attack. I've had a few experimental treatments but no luck so far, So, they have washed their hands of me. Have you ever heard of a MS attack like this? Any ideas on treatment? Thanks for listening, Suzie

Reply
Ed Tobias avatar

Ed Tobias

Hi Suzie,

I'm sorry you've been having such trouble. Have you been examined by a pain specialist? Perhaps your pain is caused by something other than MS.

Ed

Reply

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