Mavenclad (cladribine) appears to be better at lowering relapse rates during the first two years of disease in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients than other MS therapies, including interferon, Copaxone (glatiramer acetate) and Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate), a head-to-head observational study found.
Mavenclad, however, was less effective at reducing these rates than Tysabri (natalizumab).
The study “Cladribine vs other drugs in MS,” comparing data from Mavenclad’s pivotal trial with data collected on patients across Italy on a first disease-modifying therapy, was published in the journal Neurology.
Mavenclad, developed and marketed by EMD Serono (known as Merck KGaA outside North America), is an oral, short-course therapy approved for relapsing forms of MS in more than 50 countries, including in the U.S., European Union, Australia, and Canada.
The therapy, given in two treatment courses of two weeks each, separated by about one year, works by lowering the number of immune cells in the bloodstream, the cause of neurodegeneration in MS.
In the CLARITY study, 1,326 RRMS patients were randomized to a placebo or to one of two doses of Mavenclad, 3.5 and 5.25 mg/kg. The approved dose is 3.5 mg/kg.
Results showed that both doses were superior to placebo in suppressing relapses, and in increasing the time patients remained relapse-free. Treatment with 3.5 mg/kg of Mavenclad reduced the risk of six-month disability progression by 47%, compared with placebo, as measured by the expanded disability status scale (EDSS).
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