Back to Journals » Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management » Volume 6

Risks vs benefits of glatiramer acetate: a changing perspective as new therapies emerge for multiple sclerosis

Authors Johnson K

Published 12 April 2010 Volume 2010:6 Pages 153—172


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Kenneth P Johnson

Maryland Center for MS, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Abstract: An understanding of the risks, benefits, and relative value of glatiramer acetate (GA) in multiple sclerosis (MS) has been evolving based on recently completed head-to-head studies: REGARD (REbif vs Glatiramer Acetate in Relapsing MS Disease); BEYOND (Betaseron Efficacy Yielding Outcomes of a New Dose); and BECOME (BEtaseron vs COpaxone in Multiple Sclerosis with Triple-Dose Gadolinium and 3-Tesla MRI Endpoints). Outcomes in the primary endpoints of these trials showed no significant differences between GA and high-dose beta-interferons (IFNβs). Results of the PreCISe (Early GA Treatment in Delaying Conversion to Clinically Definite Multiple Sclerosis [CDMS] in Subjects Presenting With a Clinically Isolated Syndrome [CIS]) trial led to the US Food and Drug Administration approval of GA in patients with a CIS. Furthermore, the ongoing follow-up study to the original pivotal GA trial, now extending beyond 15 years, continues to support the safety of GA. Currently, GA and IFNβs are no longer the only immunomodulators available for MS. Introduction of the monoclonal antibody, natalizumab (Tysabri®; Biogen Idec, Inc., Cambridge, MA, USA) provides an alternative immunomodulator for MS and has changed the therapeutic landscape dramatically. However, the rare but serious cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy that have occurred with natalizumab have raised concerns among clinicians and patients about using this agent and some of the emerging agents. The potential risks and benefits of the emerging therapies (cladribine, alemtuzumab, rituximab, fingolimod, laquinimod, teriflunomide, and dimethyl fumarate) based on phase II/III trials, as well as their use for indications other than MS, will be presented. This review provides available data on GA, natalizumab, and the emerging agents to support new developments in our understanding of GA and how its long-standing role as a first-line therapy in MS will evolve within the increasingly complex MS therapeutic landscape.

Keywords: annual relapse rate, alemtuzumab, cladribine, rituximab, fingolimod, teriflunomide, dimethyl fumarate, laquinimod, interferon

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF] 


Readers of this article also read:

Emerging and future therapies for hemophilia

Carr ME, Tortella BJ

Journal of Blood Medicine 2015, 6:245-255

Published Date: 3 September 2015

Green synthesis of water-soluble nontoxic polymeric nanocomposites containing silver nanoparticles

Prozorova GF, Pozdnyakov AS, Kuznetsova NP, Korzhova SA, Emel’yanov AI, Ermakova TG, Fadeeva TV, Sosedova LM

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2014, 9:1883-1889

Published Date: 16 April 2014

Methacrylic-based nanogels for the pH-sensitive delivery of 5-Fluorouracil in the colon

Ashwanikumar N, Kumar NA, Nair SA, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5769-5779

Published Date: 15 November 2012

A novel preparation method for silicone oil nanoemulsions and its application for coating hair with silicone

Hu Z, Liao M, Chen Y, Cai Y, Meng L, Liu Y, Lv N, Liu Z, Yuan W

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:5719-5724

Published Date: 12 November 2012

Cross-linked acrylic hydrogel for the controlled delivery of hydrophobic drugs in cancer therapy

Deepa G, Thulasidasan AK, Anto RJ, Pillai JJ, Kumar GS

International Journal of Nanomedicine 2012, 7:4077-4088

Published Date: 27 July 2012

Crystallization after intravitreal ganciclovir injection

Pitipol Choopong, Nattaporn Tesavibul, Nattawut Rodanant

Clinical Ophthalmology 2010, 4:709-711

Published Date: 14 July 2010