According to a story from BioSpace, Genentech (of the Roche Group) has announced its plans to present new data related to its drug satralizumab-mwge (marketed as Enspryng™) at the upcoming MSVirtual2020 meeting. The drug was approved in August 2020 as a treatment for patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) who are positive for the AQP4 antibody. This data demonstrates encouraging findings for the drug’s ability to reduce the severity of relapse and also reduce the risk of relapse overall.
About Neuromyelitis Optica
Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD) is a term meant to include both neuromyelitis optica patients and those that lack the APQ4 auto antibody but still present similarly otherwise. This disorder is also known as Devic’s disease. It is characterized by inflammation of the optic nerve and spinal cord along with destruction of the myelin sheath, an insulating, protective layer surrounding nerve cells. It is considered an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly begins attacking parts of the body. It is frequently associated with other diseases, such as viral infection and antiMOG associated encephalomyelitis, the latter of which can be a direct cause in some cases. Symptoms include blindness, urinary incontinence, spastic paralysis of the legs and arms, reduced sensation, and overall muscle weakness. Symptoms can be treated, but many patients are left with a degree of impairment. To learn more about neuromyelitis optica, click here.
The ability of Enspryng to reduce relapse is a significant step forward in treatment of this disorder. The data indicates that the therapy has a decisive effect, reducing the risk of a severe disease relapse by 79 percent when compared to placebo. In addition, the drug was found to reduce the overall risk of relapse by 51 percent in a pooled analysis the double-blind and open label extension periods.
The reduction in risk increased to 66 percent in patients with APQ4 antibodies. Overall this long term data reinforces the efficacy findings for this drug and offers support for further approvals. So far, Enspryng has been approved in the US, Switzerland, Japan, and Canada. Enspryng can make a major difference in patients’ lives, as even a single serious relapse can result in permanent neurological damage.