Neurology

While eculizumab is being targeted by multiple biosimilar developers who are in phase 3 clinical trials with their competitive products, spending on eculizumab is reaching concerning levels; as such, it is increasingly important to clarify eculizumab’s place in the treatment paradigm for myasthenia gravis (MG).
While rituximab does not carry indications for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) or aquaporin-4-positive (AQP4) neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), the CD20-depleting therapy and its biosimilars are commonly used off-label, as the therapy has been demonstrated to be effective in reducing relapses in MS as well as in reducing the frequency and severity of attacks in NMOSD.
During this week’s meeting of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, held September 11-13 in Stockholm, Sweden, researchers are presenting new data for eculizumab in the treatment of neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), a rare autoimmune disorder that typically affects the optic nerves and spinal cord and that can cause significant, irreversible disability.
Just last week, Sandoz indicated that it will commercialize a biosimilar of the multiple sclerosis (MS) drug natalizumab (Tysabri). This week, during the 35th meeting of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, held September 11-13 in Stockholm, Sweden, researchers will present data that help contextualize natalizumab’s place in the treatment paradigm for MS.
Sandoz, a Novartis division, announced today that it has entered into a global commercialization agreement with Poland-based Polpharma Biologics for a proposed natalizumab biosimilar referencing Biogen’s Tysabri. Natalizumab is a disease-modifying therapy used to treat relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as Crohn disease.
 
With patents on reference products that treat multiple sclerosis (MS) set to expire soon in the region, a panel of experts in Latin America recently published a set of recommendations regarding the efficacy, safety, and quality of biosimilars in these countries.
A phase 3 trial of eculizumab found the drug reduced the frequency of relapse neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD), an autoimmune, inflammatory disorder that typically affects the optic nerves and spinal cord.
The researchers wrote that that a numerically larger proportion of patients with myasthenia gravis (MG) stopped or reduced their doses of immunosuppressive therapies than started or increased, and that symptom improvement or worsening were the main reasons for changes to concomitant therapy.
Although rituximab does not carry an indication for the treatment of neurological disorders, the drug is widely used off-label as a therapy for B-cell–mediated disorders like multiple sclerosis (MS). Given the fact that rituximab has not been approved in these indications, however, data that reflect its safety and efficacy—particularly in patient populations for whom data are particularly scarce—are crucial.
Corticosteroids are often given as therapy for neurosarcoidosis, but there remains a need for more effective treatment, and infliximab is increasingly used in this context.

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