Fingolimod – first oral drug for MS in the United States


The FDA has licensed Fingolimod as a first-line therapy for people with relapsing-remitting MS. Let’s hope it passes through the European Medicine Agency (EMA) with the same ease as the FDA and NICE gives it the thumbs up in the UK; the pessimist in me expects not. I predict that its use will be handcuffed in Europe for patients with highly-active disease (similar to Natalizumab) and for patients intolerant of first-line injectable therapies. I also suspect NICE will make it second-line; however this will depend on how much Novartis charge for the drug.

Click here for Bloomberg’s Statement

To see how the drug works please see the following YouTube video:

Click here for YouTube video on Fingolimod’s mechanism of action

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.

1 comment

  • Out of interest, why would cost influence NICE's decision on whether Fingolimod is a first or second line treatment? If it is cheaper than the current injectibles, surely they'd look at approving Fingolimod as a first line treatment?

    I can see c.1 new treament a year being approved over the next 5-10 years – probably oral Cladribine next, perhaps followed by Alemtuzumab… Will be a challenge for a neurologist when advising patients on possible treatment options e.g. stick with what you are on, start newly released treatment ASAP, wait until XXXX comes out in 201X.

    Anything on the horizon for progressive MS / repair of damaged CNS?

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