Alemtuzumab is being pulled in the US as well

A
(Reuters) – Sanofi’s rare disease unit Genzyme is pulling leukaemia drug Campath to prepare for its launch under a different dosage and as a multiple sclerosis treatment that will be branded as Lemtrada.

The withdrawal, meant to prevent the off-label use of Campath as a multiple sclerosis drug, is already under way in some European countries and will be effective in the United States on September 4, a Genzyme spokesman said…………….

For full report

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.

12 comments

  • I wish I'd have known… if you have put a nice bet on Sanofi's shares a month ago and cashed in today you'd probably have enough to fly out to the US, get the last treatment supplies out there administered and be back with enough to go shopping.

  • not too late to buy the stock – am looking seriously into it.
    Campath could be a $3bn+ drug.
    They say buy the stock you understand. No one knows Sanofi better that us patients 🙂

  • Re: "And why specifically IV veruss the oral Cladbribine trialled by Prof G?"

    Merck-Serono have pulled oral cladribine from the market. They hold the patent for the drug therefore it will not be possible to develop a tablet until the patent expires. The main problem with using cladribine is that it would be using an off-license drug in an environment were there are licensed drugs for the particular indication. This leaves you vulnerable to medico-legal issues if things go wrong. The other option is to do a clinical trial, which will cover the latter issue. This may be possible under the NHS, but will need someone with time and energy to set-up the study. Any takers?

  • Re: "Can IV Cladbribine be prescribed off-label to a willing patient (if privately funded)?"

    Yes, several neurologists across the world are using IV cladribine to treat MS. In fact the practice is commoner than you realise.

  • Re: "can you tell how much a blood test for Aquaporin-4 would cost me if I were to cover for it privately – just roughly need to know if I need to sell my car or something ;-)"

    I have no ideas; I suggest you contact one of the 3 labs listed under assay finder to get a price.

    http://www.assayfinder.com/

    Typically, these assays cost in the order of £100-£150; but may be more in the private sector. Please note this is much cheaper than an MRI.

  • Re: Cladribine – If, as Mouse Doc says (although his post seems to have vanished?!), it is 'as effective as' Alem but without the autoimmune side effects then why all the fuss over Alem? Why are more neuros not jumping on the Cladribine wagon? Is it purely the lack of Phase III trials because of it being generic and so not worth anyone's while funding studies (and therefore lack of licensing)? Are there neuros in the UK using IV cladribine (and if so, how does one find these?!)? Does it have the same immune rebooting effect as Alem?

  • "This may be possible under the NHS, but will need someone with time and energy to set-up the study. Any takers?"

    This has to be a no-brainer for the NHS don't you think.

  • Damn, I should not have wasted my money on Facebook shares, if only I'd know that Sanofi was going to do some creative remarketing to what was it "increase the growth share they have lost to generic drugs", I could have made a killing – like Big Pharma. Honestly, and you wonder why MSers are a cynical bunch!

By Prof G

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