MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: Evusheld, Immunotherapy, Blood Test, Aubagio
Research has shown that the COVID-19 vaccines have been effective for people being treated with disease-modifying therapies, except for those that target B-cells, such as Ocrevus (ocrelizumab), Kesimpta (ofatumumab), and Rituxan (rituximab). If this very small study of 18 people proves true, it will be excellent news for those in the B-cell group. Evusheld seems like something for them to ask their neurologists about.
Treatment with Evusheld (tixagevimab co-packaged with cilgavimab) after COVID-19 vaccination significantly boosted the levels of antibodies against the virus among people with multiple sclerosis (MS) who were taking B-cell targeted therapies, a small study showed.
“This is important as it provides a different strategy for protection against COVID-19,” the scientists wrote.
Extracorporeal photopheresis is described by these researchers as cell-based immunotherapy used to treat certain T-cell lymphomas — things such as complications from bone marrow and stem cell transplants and organ transplant rejection. Now it will be tried in a small group of people with MS. This approach doesn’t globally suppress the immune system like several of our disease-modifying therapies, so the body may be better able to fight infections during treatments.
A Phase 1/2 clinical trial is evaluating the safety and effectiveness of a cutting-edge immunotherapy called extracorporeal photopheresis in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Is this a tool that can be added to MRIs and physical exams to track MS activity? The blood test’s developers say it monitors immune modulation, neuroinflammation, myelin biology, and neuroaxonal integrity. It then generates scores related to disease pathways and overall disease activity.
A blood biomarker test developed by Octave can effectively monitor overall disease activity in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), helping to improve the care being given, the company reported.
The assay, dubbed the MS Disease Activity (MSDA) test, can also be used to monitor disease activity across a patient population, meaning an entire group of MS patients treated at a given clinic or healthcare facility, Octave added.
No evidence of disease activity (NEDA) means no relapses, no worsening disability, and no signs of new inflammatory damage on MRI scans. Interestingly, the analysis in this study shows the likelihood of NEDA after two years of Aubagio treatment was highest for those who were younger and had milder disability and fewer relapses before they started Aubagio. That gives support to the belief that it’s best to start treatment with a disease-modifying therapy early following an MS diagnosis.
More than half of the people with multiple sclerosis (MS) treated with Aubagio (teriflunomide) showed no evidence of disease activity after two years on treatment, according to a study in Italy.
The study, “Evolution of teriflunomide use in multiple sclerosis: A real-world experience,” was published in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences.
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