Ampyra – improves walking speed for MS patients!

Ampyra has been covered in a couple of articles on the Medical News Today website this month. I first mentioned it in this blog in February 2009 (see: Ampyra). Here, I highlight the most important updated information.

Patients treated with Ampyra had faster walking speeds than those treated with an inactive pill (placebo). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Ampyra (dalfampridine) extended release tablets to improve walking in patients with MS. This is the first drug approved for this use.

As of January 25th (only 2 days after the previous news was published) the statement goes:

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the drug fampridine-SR for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

In addition, on the same date: Elan Drug Technologies, a business unit of Elan Corporation, plc (NYSE: ELN) today issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of AMPYRA™ (dalfampridine) as a treatment to improve walking in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). This was demonstrated by an increase in walking speed. AMPYRA™ will be marketed in the U.S. by Acorda Therapeutics.

As of today (Jan. 26th.10) the firm has applied for a license to make the drug available in the UK.

Progressing quickly ; ) (one wishes they reacted as fast to the CCSVI news too hu? : p )

cheers!

PML – Tysabri – better management

Just brief information update (from Medical News Today) regarding PML/Tysabri management measures..

European Medicines Agency Recommends Additional Measures To Better Manage Risk Of Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) With Tysabri

January 22nd 2010

The European Medicines Agency has finalised a review of  Tysabri (Natalizumab) and the risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare brain infection caused by the JC virus. The Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has concluded that the risk of developing PML increases after two years of use of Tysabri although this risk remains low. However, the benefits of the medicine continue to outweigh its risks for patients with highly active relapsing-remitting MS, for whom there are few treatment options available.

The new measures were then mentioned in the above article but also in the following one four days later (see towards the end):

European Drugs Watchdog Finds Benefits Of Tysabri Continue To Outweigh Risks

January 26th 2010

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has finalised a review of Tysabri (Natalizumab) and the risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare brain infection caused by the JC virus.

The Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has concluded that the risk of developing PML increases after two years of use of Tysabri although this risk remains low.

It also stated, however, that the benefits of the medicine continue to outweigh its risks for patients with highly active relapsing-remitting MS, for whom there are few treatment options available.

As a result of the review, the Committee recommended a number of measures be put in place to ensure that patients and doctors are fully aware of the risks of PML.

These include:

– an update of the product information to add information about the increase in the risk of PML after two years of treatment and additional advice on how to manage patients who show signs of PML;

– forms to be signed by patients at the beginning of treatment with Tysabri, and again after two years of treatment, after in-depth discussions about the risk of PML with their doctor.

Tablets instead of unpleasant injections – soon!!!

Wow I was offline for three days and so much has happened…it is so difficult to keep pace with the news in the MS field : ) but that can just be a good thing ; )

I’ll start in chronological order… thus the first thing here is the reconfirmation of the ‘near-future’ treatment with pills for MS patients. The article in Medical News Today (dated 21.01.10) is entitled: “Pills To Treat MS Could Be Round The Corner” : The studies suggest that the oral therapies, potentially the first of their kind for relapsing remitting MS, are at least as effective as current drugs on the market and could be available as early as next year.

Another article from the same source (and same date) further mentions disease’s relapse reduction & progression from the use of Cladribine (previously mentioned in my blog… latest on January 21st this year and with the whole timeline published on December 1st 2009). The newest article further reaffirms the drug’s previously mentioned benefits whereas it claims that it in addition “goes a long way to eliminating the unpleasent side effects associated with existing therapies”

…. “Cladribine promises to be the first ever treatment in tablet form for MS, and only needs be taken for between 8-10 days a year, eliminating the need for regular injections and intravenous infusions otherwise endured by sufferers. The ease which Cladribine tablets can be administered, combined with its relatively few side effects, make it a hugely exciting development in the world of MS.

On January 23rd 2010 the 2-year results from the CLARITY study with Cladribine tablets for MS were published in the NEw England Journal of Medicine: CLARITY Study

There is definitely SO MUCH to look forward in the coming year!!!

Stay positive!! ; o )

Cladribine & Fingolimod – available in 2011!

I just read today (on the bbc website) the most recent news on the promising oral treatments coming out..Cladribine & Fingolimod… they could be available as soon as 2011 following successful results in two trials (the relapse rates are cut by 50-60% over two years!), and drug licenses have just been filed!

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, both Cladribine & Fingolimod trials involved 1,000 people in over 18 countries.

In case you are interested in more information, I am providing the following link, which contains the Cladribine news ‘timeline’ (includes links to Cladribine & Fingolimod news that I’ve covered): https://sofija.wordpress.com/2009/12/01/cladribine-news-timeline/

never give up hope!! : o )

CCSVI – yet another article

I know I have already written about CCSVI a couple of times but I’ve just found another link to information about CCSVI…the Chief Medical Officer at the MS Association of America has written a rather concise and clear article on CCSVI which might help those of you who are still somewhat confused about this (not so new) theory/treatment… I say ‘not so new’ because of my previous findings related to the work of a Danish professor (Torben Fog) which addressed this notion already back in 1965…(link: Fog’s study ). : o )

But anyways, here is the article I just stumbled upon:

http://msassociation.org/news_center/article.asp?a=ccsvi

A CCSVI success story…

Here is a CCSVI success story from the UK…an MS patient who had to travel to the US to get the famous operation put forward by dr. Zamboni..and it seems to have helped her…you can read it here:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/01/17/have-doctors-found-a-cure-for-ms-115875-21973347/

for more information on CCSVI you can follow the links to my previous posts regarding the topic:

https://sofija.wordpress.com/2009/10/06/ccsvi-in-ms-new-findings-in-the-field/

https://sofija.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/ccsvi-discovery-a-brief-story-of-its-background/

https://sofija.wordpress.com/2009/11/29/ccsvi-more-info/

MS: in-depth information

Last year in July I started creating a ppt with all facts I could find regarding MS.. I last updated it in December…and have finally found out how to make it public, post it online.. glad I figured this out : o )

So here it is..just click on the link below and it will open a pdf file containing everything I found about MS including:

Quick facts

What is MS?

World distribution of MS

What is MS & why it happens?

What is Myelin & what MS does to it?

What are the symptoms of MS?

Epidemology of MS

Is MS Fatal?

Historical facts

History of medicine’s understanding of MS

Drugs for MS

New drug discoveries

here is the link:

https://sofija.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/ms-info.pdf

I hope you find it useful and informative… I am hoping to continue updating this pdf with new valuable information for us MSers.

Cheers!

ps. note that I have not included CCSVI in this presentation as I believe it merits a presentation in its own due to its long history and the debate revolving around it (check the links to my previous posts on this topic below)

https://sofija.wordpress.com/2009/10/06/ccsvi-in-ms-new-findings-in-the-field/

https://sofija.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/ccsvi-discovery-a-brief-story-of-its-background/

https://sofija.wordpress.com/2009/11/29/ccsvi-more-info/

ps.s. : )  I’d be happy to hear from you if you have anything to add : )