April 20th, 2004
Boston Cure Project
Antegren (TM Elan and Biogen Idec), also known as natalizumab, is currently in Phase III trials as a disease-modifying MS therapy. Preliminary results published recently showed a reduction in new inflammatory lesions appearing on MRI in participants assigned to the drug. A new study extends these findings by showing that Antegren also reduces the percentage of new lesions that persist over time and exhibit axonal damage. Newly appearing lesions in participants who received the drug were approximately 50% as likely to persist for several months in a chronic form compared with lesions developing in participants who received a placebo. Study investigators suggest that this effect may be due to Antegren's inhibition of T cell entry into the brain, leading to less inflammation and therefore less axonal damage inflicted by inflammatory factors.
The authors noted that two similar studies have been performed in the
past using other MS therapies: a study of Copaxone (glatiramer acetate)
showed an effect similar to the one demonstrated in this Antegren study,
while a study of interferon beta 1-B in secondary progressive subjects
found no major differences between the drug and placebo groups.
Copyright © 2004, Boston Cure Project