Research: Alemtuzumab treatment of Interferon-Unresponsive MS

Fox EJ, Sullivan HC, Gazda SK, Mayer L, O'Donnell L, Melia K, Lake SL. A single-arm, open-label study of alemtuzumab in treatment-refractory patients with multiple sclerosis Eur J Neurol. 2011 [Epub ahead of print].

This is more of the same (good) news, with regard to Alemtuzumab. This un-controlled and unblinded study indicates that Alemtuzumab (an antibody that kills white blood cells) quells disease activity in MSers who have relapses that do not appear to be responding to beta intereferon. The rate of relapses dropped by over 90% compared to that before treatment and about 85% of people had stable or improved signs of disease after a 2 year follow up. The main side effect is that a significant proportion of people went on to develop a new disease of the thyroid gland.

Although this drug is not without some serious dangers, It clearly shows that at least the relapsing part of multiple sclerosis is controlled by the activity of white blood cells, "as was shown in animal studies many years ago"

The question will be" if the regulators consider the safety profile acceptable, how much is this drug going to be?".

CoI: None