Gilenya

#ECTRIMS2018 – Plasma Neurofilament Light Levels Linked to Treatment Effects in RRMS, Study Finds

Levels of proposed biomarker neurofilament light chain (NfL) are associated with therapeutic effects of disease-modifying treatments (DMTs) in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients, according to a real-world study. Study findings also revealed that treatment with either Lemtrada (alemtuzumab, marketed by Sanofi Genzyme), Gilenya (fingolimod, marketed by Novartis), Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate, marketed…

#ECTRIMS2018 – Switching to Tysabri Leads to Fewer Relapses and Disability than Gilenya, Study in RRMS Patients Finds

Patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) who switch to Tysabri (natalizumab) after relapses on first-line treatment with other medications show greater relapse reduction and less disability progression than those switching to Gilenya (fingolimod), according to a real-world study. The research, “Comparative effectiveness of switching…

Gilenya More Effective Than Avonex in Lowering Relapse Rates, New Lesions in Children with Relapsing MS, Phase 3 Trial Shows

Two years of treatment with oral Gilenya (fingolimod) significantly reduced the rate of relapses when compared to Avonex (interferon beta-1a) intramuscular injections in children and adolescents with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS), according to Phase 3 clinical trial results. Additionally, Gilenya (marketed by Novartis) decreased the number of central nervous…

Tecfidera, Gilenya Equally Effective, But More MS Patients Stop Tecfidera, Real-World Study Shows

Tecfidera (dimethyl fumarate) and Gilenya (fingolimod) are equally effective in treating multiple sclerosis (MS), but Tecfidera shows higher rates of discontinuation, according to a real-world study. The study, “Discontinuation and comparative effectiveness of dimethyl fumarate and fingolimod in 2 centers,” was published in the journal Neurology Clinical…

Consecutive Use of Gilenya and Lemtrada Causes Disease Activity in MS Patient, Case Report Suggests

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients may experience severe disease exacerbation after switching from Novartis’ Gilenya (fingolimod) to Sanofi Genzyme’s Lemtrada (alemtuzumab), a case report suggests. This unexpected high disease activity raises questions about managing MS through the consecutive use of immunotherapies. The case report, “Unexpected high multiple…

African-Americans Show Better Adherence and Satisfaction with Gilenya Than Injectable DMTs, Phase 4 Study Finds

African-Americans with relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) show higher adherence and greater satisfaction when treated with oral Gilenya (fingolimod, by Novartis) than with injectable therapies, according to a new study. The research, “Treatment retention on fingolimod compared with injectable multiple sclerosis therapies in African-American patients: A…

Shorter Washout Period Lessens Relapse Risk When Switching from Tysabri to Gilenya in RRMS, Study Finds

Shortening the washout period to four weeks when switching from Biogen’s Tysabri to Novartis’ Gilenya is safe and reduces the chances of experiencing a disease flare in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), a small Swiss study found. A four-week washout reduced the risk of having a disease relapse or an increase in disease activity, compared with an eight-week washout period, for two years after switching from Tysabri to Gilenya. Although Tysabri effectively slows worsening of MS symptoms and the appearance of disease flares, its use is under a strict risk management plan as it heightens the risk of developing a rare and life-threatening brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, also known as PML. Some patients may switch to Gilenya, an alternative disease-modifying therapy for RRMS. Gilenya has been associated with a lower risk of PML infection and seen to reduce relapses, disability worsening, and the appearance of new brain lesions on clinical trials. It also is the only therapy approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for children with MS as young as 10. When switching from Tysabri to Gilenya, it is important to consider the washout period, which is the period when the patient is taken off medications. If too long, it may lead to disease reactivation, which can be even stronger than before starting Tysabri. There is little evidence about the optimal length of washout periods, but a Phase 3 trial showed that an eight-week washout between Tysabri and Gilenya was beneficial compared with longer washouts of 12 or 16 weeks. The eight-week washout enabled more RRMS patients to become free from relapses and lowered disease activity. To study if a shorter washout period of four weeks further reduced the risk of MS reactivation, researchers conducted an open-label, observational study at the University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland. The study enrolled 25 RRMS patients who were appointed to switch from Tysabri to Gilenya. Participants were assigned to either a four-week or an eight-week washout period, and were followed for two years after switching to Gilenya. Although patients were older in the four-week washout group, disease activity and disability scoreswere not significantly different between groups at the beginning of the study. Relapses, disability scores, and disease activity on magnetic resonance imaging scans were recorded at baseline and weeks 8, 12, 16, 20 32, 56, and 108. In the first year (week 56) the proportion of patients with disease flare-ups or disease activity on MRI was not significantly different between the two washout groups, affecting 55.6% and 62.5% of the patients who had a four-week and an eight-week washout, respectively. However, at the end of the two-year follow-up (week 108), recurrent event analysis showed that patients who were on the four-week washout group were 77% less likely to experience relapses. The combined risk for relapse or disease activity on MRI also was 58% lower in the four-week group, compared with those who had an eight-week washout. In addition, researchers found that patients who had flares more frequently in the year before discontinuing Tysabri also had a nearly four times higher risk of experiencing relapses in the first year after switching to Gilenya. This suggests that the number of relapses before switching from Tysabri can predict disease reactivation once on other disease-modifying therapies. Both washout periods were deemed safe, with no serious adverse side effects or cases of opportunistic infections, including PML, being reported. Researchers emphasized, however, that the findings need to be confirmed in larger studies.

What’s Hot and What’s Not Among MS Therapies?

The newest kids on the MS block, disease-modifying therapies (DMT) such as Genentech’s Ocrevus (ocrelizumab) and Sanofi Genzyme’s Lemtrada (alemtuzumab), are attracting a lot of interest these days. But, some DMTs that have been around for more than two decades are still being prescribed by a lot of neurologists.