Zinbryta (daclizumab), a humanized monoclonal antibody produced by Biogen and AbbVie, is an approved treatment for relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) in the United States and is expected to soon be approved for use in Europe.

How Zinbryta Works

Zinbryta is a formulation of a monoclonal antibody against the CD25 subunit of interleukin 2 (IL-2) receptors. These receptors are highly expressed on reactive T-cells in MS patients. By selectively targeting the T-cells with CD25, Zinbryta avoids general T-cell depletion. Zinbryta prevents the expansion of CD25-positive, autoreactive T-cells. It further promotes the activity of CD 65-positive natural killer cells, which clean up the already activated CD25-positive T-cells. Thus, Zinbryta both stops and prevents inflammation caused by CD25-positive T-cells. In the high-yield formulation, Zinbryta is intended to be administered subcutaneously once every four weeks. At this dosing scheme, Zinbryta binds all CD25 receptors within 10 hours and remains bound for 64 days.

History of Zinbryta

Daclizumab was originally pursued for prophylaxis of acute organ rejection in patients with renal transplants by Roche under the trade name Zenapax. The medication was available in the United States and European Union, but it was withdrawn for commercial reasons. Daclizumab is now under investigation for use in RRMS patients by Biogen and AbbVie under the name Zinbryta. Two trials, DECIDE and SELECT, formed the basis of BLA submission by Biogen and AbbVie.

Next Steps for Zinbryta

The FDA accepted a Biologics License Application (BLA) for Zinbryta with indications for RRMS, filed by Biogen and AbbVie, on April 29, 2015. Zimbryta was officially approved by the FDA on May 27, 2016.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) also validated the Marketing Authorisation Application for Zinbryta to treat RRMS, and a review process by EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) began in March 2015. About a year later, in April 2016, CHMP adopted a positive opinion, recommending marketing authorization in Europe for  Zinbryta to treat RRMS.

The benefits of Zinbryta in patients with secondary progressive MS (SPMS) have also been investigated, by PDL BioPharma, in 2008: 8% of the patients enrolled in the clinical trial “Study of Subcutaneous Daclizumab in Patients With Active, Relapsing Forms of Multiple Sclerosis” had SPMS (the other 92% had RRMS).

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