Lemtrada

My MS Is Getting to Be a Pain, Literally

For most of the 36 years since I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis I’ve not been bothered by pain. Just lucky, I guess. Until last month. Suddenly, I’ve developed pain in both hips and I don’t know why. The pain is most intense when I first put my feet on…

MS Drug Costs: The Elephant in the Examination Room

A lot of factors go into our decisions when we select the drug we’re going to use to fight our multiple sclerosis. How well will it work? What are the possible side effects and how serious could they be? How will using the drug (taking a pill, giving myself a…

My Lemtrada Coaster Has Been Rolling

About two weeks ago I wrote about my roller-coaster ride being pretty smooth since my first round of Lemtrada infusions ended in early December. Well, the loops are now looping. Month two post-infusion began with a good lab report, but also with an appearance of the up-down fatigue monster.

2 Cases of Brain Inflammation Raise Questions of Lemtrada Safety, But Link Uncertain

Two multiple sclerosis (MS) patients developed severe brain inflammation after being treated with Lemtrada (alemtuzumab), researchers report, raising questions about the therapy. A definite link between the lesions and the treatment, however, was not established. The patients’ symptoms were successfully controlled with a blood transfusion and treatment with rituximab (brand name Rituxan,…

Starting Down My Lemtrada Road

Here we go. This is the week my Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) infusions begin. A few weeks ago I wrote about how Lemtrada has been successful in stopping disease progression in folks with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, and those who have transitioned to secondary progressive MS but continue to have relapses. There have…

Lemtrada Lessens MS Disability in People Who Respond Poorly to Other Therapies, Study Says

Data from the CARE-MS II clinical trial showed that Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) can lessen pre-existing disabilities in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) who failed to respond adequately to previous disease-modifying therapies, according to a study of the trial’s data. The treatment was evaluated against Rebif (interferon beta-1a) therapy. The study, “Alemtuzumab…

Information Overload Precedes Lemtrada Infusions

You know the saying about having too much of a good thing? I think that’s me, right now, as I think about starting infusions of the multiple sclerosis drug Lemtrada on Dec. 5. Lemtrada is supposed to be a super drug. As I wrote in an earlier column,…

Plans by 4 Countries to Subsidize Cost of Newer MS Drugs May Weight on US

A cost-effectiveness analysis of reimbursement recommendations for four relatively new multiple sclerosis (MS) treatments made by agencies in four countries — Australia, Canada, Sweden, and the U.K. — found overwhelming support (88 percent) for either full or restricted reimbursement for each therapy. The analysis, performed by the Decision Resources Group, is…

Lemtrada Targets Circulating Innate Immune Cells in RRMS Patients

Lemtrada (alemtuzumab), a humanized monoclonal antibody, is able to remodel the immune responses of innate immune cells in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), according to a recent study. This previously unreported phenotype may contribute to the benefits of the drug for RRMS patients. The study, “Alemtuzumab…

Are the Benefits Worth the Risks of Lemtrada?

My neurologist calls Lemtrada “HSCT lite.”  She says that not only is the drug able to reduce exacerbations and limit the overall progression of multiple sclerosis, it’s actually reversed some symptoms in some of her patients.   I guess I’m going to find out if she’s right about…

#ECTRIMS2016 – Lemtrada and Tysabri Seen as Most Effective Therapies for MS in 5-Year Study

A five-year study comparing the efficacy of different treatments for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) found that, in general, Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) and Tysabri (natalizumab) are more effective as therapies than Gilenya (fingolimod) and interferon β. Study results were presented in an oral presentation, “Comparison of 5-year treatment outcomes between alemtuzumab versus natalizumab, fingolimod and interferon β-1a,”…

Lemtrada to Treat Relapsing MS Now Part of New Brunswick, Canada, Drug Program

The Government of New Brunswick added  Lemtrada (alemtuzumab), by Sanofi Genzyme, to the New Brunswick Prescription Drug Program (NBPDP) through special authorization for eligible patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). New Brunswick joins other Canadian provinces, including Ontario, Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Manitoba, in making this treatment available to RRMS patients, ages 18 and older, who have had…

Best First-Line Treatment for Aggressive MS May Be Equally Aggressive Immunotherapies

Patients with aggressive onset multiple sclerosis, characterized by a rapidly progressing disease course and accumulation of disability, may benefit from early aggressive therapies instead of the escalation approach commonly given multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, according to researchers at Weill-Cornell Medical College. Their article, titled “A study of patients with…

Sanofi Genzyme Presenting New Data on Lemtrada’s Beneficial Effects, Drawn from RRMS Extension Study, at AAN 2016

Sanofi Genzyme is presenting promising data regarding brain volume and retinal nerve fibers in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients — drawn from an ongoing extension study into the disease-modifying drug alemtuzumab (Lemtrada) — at the 2016 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting  taking place in Vancouver, Canada, through April…

Sanofi Genzyme Presenting New Data on Its Approved and Investigational Multiple Sclerosis Treatments at AAN

Sanofi Genzyme will present new data on its approved multiple sclerosis (MS) treatments — Lemtrada (alemtuzumab) and Aubagio (teriflunomide) — at the 68th annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), taking place in Vancouver, Canada, through April 21, as well as data on investigational therapies in its pipeline. In total, the meeting…

CONy16: Sanofi Genzyme Symposium on MS Therapies Targeting T and B Cells; Exclusive Interview with Lead Researcher

Sanofi Genzyme, one of the companies participating in the four-day 10th World Congress on Controversies in Neurology (CONy) in Lisbon, Portugal, that concluded on March 20, 2016, supported several symposiums focused on multiple sclerosis (MS) — including one on B-cell and T-cell therapies. For over a decade, Sanofi Genzyme has worked to develop effective therapies…