Thursday, September 28, 2006

MS drug treatment shows promise

woo hoo!!!!!!!!! a pill form!!!!!!!!

from AP:
MS drug treatment shows promise Thu Sep 28, 8:19 AM ET

EAST HANOVER, N.J. - Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., the U.S. unit of Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG, said Thursday that at least three out of four patients given an experimental multiple sclerosis treatment were free of relapses for more than two years.

The company released data from a mid-stage clinical study showing that 77 percent of MS patients given the treatment FTY720 over two years remained free of relapses.

Multiple sclerosis, which affects more than 2.5 million people worldwide, is an incurable disease which causes the body's immune system to destroy the insulation of nerve fibers.

More than 80 percent of patients taking the drug were found not to have active inflammation according to medical imaging scans. The company also said that patients who had been given a placebo for the first six months of the study showed a marked improvement after they were switched to the treatment, an improvement that was sustained out to the 24th month of the study.

Novartis developed FTY720 after licensing the compound from Mitsubishi Pharma. The oral drug is currently in late-stage clinical trials.

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