New approaches in the management of multiple sclerosis
Laurie J Barten1, Douglas R Allington1, Kendra A Procacci2, Michael P Rivey1
1The University of Montana and Community Medical Center, Missoula, MT, USA; 2The University of Montana School of Pharmacy, Missoula, MT, USA
Abstract: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a central nervous system chronic inflammatory disease that is characterized by an extensive and complex immune response. Scientific advances have occurred in immunology, pathophysiology, and diagnostic and clinical assessment tools, and recent discovery of unique therapeutic targets has spurred numerous Phase II and Phase III clinical trials. Reductions in MS relapse rates and improvements in T2 or gadolinium-enhancing lesion burdens have been reported from Phase III trials that include fingolimod, alemtuzumab, cladribine, and rituximab. Promising Phase II trial data exist for teriflunomide, daclizumab, laquinimod, and fumarate. The optimism created by these favorable findings must be tempered with evaluation of the adverse effect profile produced by these new agents. Given the discovery of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy with the use of natalizumab, ongoing vigilance for rare and life-threatening reactions due to new agents should be paramount. Patients with MS often experience difficulty with ambulation, spasticity, and cognition. Recent clinical trial data from two Phase III dalfampridine-SR trials indicate certain patients receive benefits in ambulation. This article provides an overview of data from clinical trials of newer agents of potential benefit in MS.
Keywords: multiple sclerosis, Phase II trials, Phase III trials, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, monoclonal antibody
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