Gilenya (Fingolimod) vs Interferon in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis
An international team of researchers recently reported on the results of the extension of a trial comparing fingolimod and interferon beta-1a in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Basically, patients fared better when they took fingolimod, but it’s worth examining the details.
ingolimod (Gilenya; Novartis Pharmaceuticals) is an immunomodulating drug used to help prevent symptoms of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and slow the worsening of disability. It belongs to a drug class known as sphingosine l-phosphate receptor modulators and works by reducing the activation of immune cells that can cause nerve damage
Interferon beta-1a is a type of protein used to treat MS. It is available as Avonex and Refib and works by reducing the number of inflammatory cells that get through the blood brain barrier and modulating the expression of both pro- and anti-inflammatory factors in the brain.
The core phase was called TRANSFORMS (Trial Assessing injectable interferoN vS. FTY720 Oral in RRMS). This was a one-year, phase 3, double-blind, randomized trial that compared fingolimod (0.5 or 1.25 mg once daily) and interferon beta-1a (30 ug via intramuscular injection once a week).
This phase was followed by a long-term (up to 4.5 years) extension. During this phase, all of the patients who had been taking fingolimod continued their original treatment dose (0.5 mg for 356 patients and 1.25 mg for 330). However, those who had been taking interferon beta-1a were switched to fingolimod (0.5 mg for 167 patients, 1.25 mg for 174).
Of the 1,027 patients who entered the extended part of the study, 772 (75.2%) completed it. Here’s what the investigators found concerning the extension phase of the study:
Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by EMAXHEALTH
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