According to a story from sectorpublishingintelligence.co.uk, studies utilizing data gathered in the real-world treatment setting are highlighting the characteristics of two different therapies for multiple sclerosis (MS) developed by the drug company Biogen. These studies measured the effects of these treatments in specific multiple sclerosis patient populations. The drugs featured in these studies were natalizumab (marketed as TYSABRI) and peginterferon beta-1a (marketed as PLEGRIDY).
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease which is characterized by damage to the myelin sheath, a fatty, insulating, protective covering that surrounds nerve cells and allows them to communicate effectively. Although a precise cause has not been determined, multiple sclerosis is considered an autoimmune disease, in which a certain trigger, such as an infection, may cause the immune system to mistakenly attack healthy tissue. Smoking and certain genetic variants are also considered risk factors for the disease. Symptoms include blurred vision, double vision, blindness in one eye, numbness, abnormal sensations, pain, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, difficulty speaking and swallowing, mood instability, depression, loss of coordination, and fatigue. There are a number of treatments available for the disease, but no cure. Life expectancy for patients is slightly reduced. To learn more about multiple sclerosis, click here.
The first study compared the standard every four weeks dose for natalizumab versus an every six weeks dose. The study evaluated patients who had been using the standard dosing of the drug for a year’s time, who then switched to the less frequent dosing. The study revealed that there was no significant difference in relapse rate or overall risk of relapse for these patients when they changed doses. The less frequent dose is beneficial because to reduces the risk of adverse effects such as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, a rare but serious brain infection.
Peginterferon Beta Exposure in Developing Infants
Another study looked at health data of infants of female patients who had been treating their disease with peginterferon beta-1a during pregnancy and compared outcomes to patients that had not been receiving treatment. The findings indicated that this medication did not have adverse effects on infants, and no differences in measures such as head circumference or overall weight were observed.
Such studies can lead to meaningful improvements in patient outcomes and can help confirm the safety and efficacy characteristics of these treatments.