More MS news articles for Sep 2001

Glatiramer Acetate Reduces Evolution of New MS Lesions into 'Black Holes'

WESTPORT, CT (Reuters Health) Sept 14 - Glatiramer acetate (Copaxone; Teva Pharmaceutical Industries) appears to have a favorable modifying effect on the evolution of new multiple sclerosis lesions by reducing the number that progress into "black holes" on magnetic resonance imaging, representing lesions where severe tissue disruption has occurred.

The European/Canadian Glatiramer Acetate Study Group, led by Dr. M. Filippi of the University of Ospedale San Raffaele, Milan, reports the finding in the August 28th issue of Neurology.

The authors determined the effects of the drug on 1722 new lesions in 239 patients with MS who underwent monthly cerebral MRI studies. Patients received 20 mg of glatiramer acetate or placebo daily by subcutaneous injection for 9 months.

The percentage of new lesions that evolved into black holes was significantly lower in patients in the active treatment group (18.9%) than in the placebo group (26.3%) on scans performed at 7 months (p = 0.04), the researchers report. The benefits continued to be evident at 8 months, with scans showing that 15.6% and 31.4% of new lesions had evolved into black holes in glatiramer- and placebo-treated subjects, respectively (p = 0.002).

These results, Dr. Filippi and colleagues conclude, show that glatiramer acetate has a "favorable effect on tissue disruption in MS lesions once they are formed."

Neurology 2001;57:731-733.

Copyright © 2001 Reuters Ltd