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Fingolimod shows significant patient benefits

New data presented at American Academy of Neurology meeting show additional patient benefits for multiple sclerosis pill, fingolimod

New data being presented at the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) annual meeting show that immunosuppressive drug, fingolimod (FTY720), has several additional benefits.

These are an improvement of self-reported ability to perform daily activities for people with multiple sclerosis (MS); a reduction in severity of relapses, as compared to interferon β-1a, with less need for steroid intervention and hospitalization; a benefit to patients who have switched from interferon β-1a to fingolimod – with a significant reduction in relapse rates and brain lesion measures; and a reduction in relapses by 62 per cent in newly treated patients.

This new data presented at the 62nd annual meeting of AAN adds to the positive findings of two pivotal studies (FREEDOMS and TRANSFORMS), published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) recently, confirming fingolimod is twice as effective as commonly-used injection (interferon β-1a) and placebo for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) – the most common form of the disease.

A sub-analyses of the TRANSFORMS study demonstrates that patients treated with fingolimod for 12 months experienced significantly less deterioration in their ability to perform daily activities compared with patients taking interferon β-1a. At month 12, 17.5-19.6 per cent of fingolimod-treated patients experienced improvements in PRIMUS-Activities scores from baseline versus 14.1 per cent of interferon β-1a-treated patients.

Patients taking fingolimod 0.5mg were also shown to have a 71 per cent reduction in relapses resulting in hospitalisation, and a 52 per cent reduction in relapses requiring steroid treatment, compared to patients taking interferon β-1a.

Data from the one year extension study of TRANSFORMS confirmed the efficacy of fingolimod in reducing relapses and MRI lesions. These findings on efficacy are consistent with those of the original one-year core TRANSFORMS study, in which fingolimod was found to significantly reduce annualised relapse rates (ARR) by 52 per cent versus interferon β-1a, and data from a sub analysis of the two-year FREEDOMS study showed that fingolimod 0.5mg reduced the ARR by 62 per cent for newly treated patients compared with placebo. For patients who had previously received other treatments, the ARR were reduced by 44 per cent.

This new data confirms the effectiveness of fingolimod regardless of treatment history.

14th April 2010

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