New Research on Lemtrada Reveals Insights into the Cause of Potential Side Effects
June 13, 2017
Read the open-access paper in JAMA Neurology
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- Researchers in the U.K. have evaluated additional findings about the immune-system impacts of Lemtrada® (alemtuzimab, Sanofi Genzyme), a disease-modifying therapy for treating people with relapsing MS.
- The team used data from phase 3 clinical trials submitted to the European Medicines Agency during the drug’s successful approval process. Some of this data was previously reported at medical meetings and in Lemtrada’s prescribing information.
- Among their findings, they report that Lemtrada caused long-term reduction of specific immune cells (memory B and T cells, including regulatory T cells). They also found that the body rapidly repopulated an overabundance of immature B cells.
- They propose that the blockade of memory B and T cells drives the beneficial effects of Lemtrada.
- They also speculate that the known potential side effect for autoimmune thyroid disease and other autoimmune disorders may be triggered by the overabundance of immature B cells that occurs when there are few regulatory T cells to keep them in check.
- Studies like this one, which reveal more information about a therapy’s mode of action, are important and may also lead to insights about how to reduce side effects.
- Drs. Klaus Schmierer, David Baker and others at the Queen Mary University of London report their findings in JAMA Neurology, published online June 12, 2017.
Lemtrada is a registered trademark of Sanofi Genzyme
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. Currently there is no cure. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include disabling fatigue, mobility challenges, cognitive changes, and vision issues. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize disability. Significant progress is being made to achieve a world free of MS.