Monday, June 27, 2005
I caught this over at Stephen's flat. If only this were available 15 years ago!
- Benefits of FTY720 therapy were seen as soon as after two months of treatment and continued to increase over the six month treatment period compared to placebo. Over 90% of patients completed the study.
"FTY720 has shown a significant and consistent effect on both clinical relapses and MRI measures in just six months. With its novel mode of action and the added benefit of an oral formulation taken once daily, further clinical development of FTY720 might have a major impact on the way we treat MS in the future. We hope that the magnitude of benefits shown in phase II will be confirmed in the larger scale phase III study program," said Professor Ludwig Kappos, MD, Department of Neurology, University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland.
Based on the positive Phase II study results, Novartis is currently discussing with regulatory authorities the FTY720 Phase III program which is expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2005 involving centers in North America and Europe.
- FTY720 is a once-daily oral medication with a novel mode of action offering the potential of an innovative approach to MS treatment. It is the first sphingosine-1-phosphate ( S1P ) receptor modulator.
FTY720 differs from currently approved treatments because it is the only medication that binds the receptors of S1P, present on the surface of lymphocytes, which are a subpopulation of white blood cells. In MS, lymphocytes circulating in the central nervous system ( e.g. the brain and spinal cord ) attack the myelin sheath that surrounds and protects nerve fibers ( axons ) which are responsible for transmitting nerve signals to other parts of the body.
As a consequence of receptor binding, the lymphocytes can no longer respond to the molecule that signals them to circulate to sites of inflammation in the body and they stay in the lymph nodes. However, the lymphocytes remain functional and may still be activated within the lymph nodes as part of the immune response.
FTY720 has been developed by Novartis Pharma and licensed from Mitsubishi Pharma Corporation.