Research studies reviewing the use of Tysabri as a new treatment for multiple sclerosis has been met with success. Tysabri is the brand name for natalizumab developed by Biogen Idec and Elan Pharmaceuticals and has been shown to have significant success with relapsing multiple sclerosis. This is one of the many drugs used by the Columbia SC infusion services at Palmetto Infusion.
In one of these studies a group of patients were given a regimen of 30 doses and then asked to stop taking the medication. This independent study followed 23 individuals for 14 months after they had stopped taking Tysabri to see if there were any signs of relapse. Tests included measuring the immune activity in both the bloodstream and the spinal fluid of each patient along with periodic MRI scans. Surveys were taken to test the effect of this new medication regarding the occurrence of relapse episodes. The study found that at 14 months most of the patients were stable with no signs of new clinical disease activity, immune activity or MRI activity.
In the second study on this new treatment for MS conducted by Biogen, 596 people were placed on Tysabri and 311 were placed on a placebo to test the drug prior to its acceptance by the FDA. The progression of the disease was tracked by ongoing examinations involving fluid samples and MRIs of test patients. Of the 596 on Tysabri approximately 64% were found to be free of any signs of clinical disease activity, while only 39% of those on the placebo show this. According to testing done by MRI 58% of those on the medication versus 14% of those on the placebo were free of any MRI detectable activity. Summing it up and collating the data the breakdown looks like this, 37% of those on the new medication showed no disease activity as compared to 7% of those on the placebo.
The results of these studies were key in obtaining FDA approval of this drug. Columbia SC infusion services like Palmetto Infusion are now able to administer Tysabri to patients when prescribed by a doctor.