From The Wall Street Journal's Health Blog:
AUGUST 17, 2009, 11:12 AM ET
Novartis’s Big Plans for Multiple Sclerosis
By Jeanne Whalen
The FDA gave Novartis the green light today to start selling a copy of Betaseron, the multiple sclerosis drug long sold by Bayer.
Why would Novartis want to sell somebody else’s years-old drug? Largely to gain experience in the MS marketplace as Novartis plots a future launch of the MS drug FTY720.
“It’s a way to build a strong commercial organization and a strong medical organization ahead of FTY,” Novartis pharmaceuticals chief Joe Jimemez told the Health Blog recently.
Read the full blog entry
Note: Here is a reference to FTY720:
Horga A, & Montalban X. (2008). FTY720 (fingolimod) for relapsing multiple sclerosis. Expert Rev Neurother., 8(5) 699-714.
Clinical Neuroinmunology Unit, Multiple Sclerosis Center of Catalonia (CEM-Cat), Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain.
FTY720 (fingolimod) is a structural analogue of sphingosine, an endogenous lysophospholipid, which targets sphingosine-1-phosphate receptors after biotransformation to FTY720-phosphate. The immunomodulatory properties of this agent are mainly related to its ability to entrap lymphocytes in secondary lymphoid organs, reducing their availability for cell-mediated immune responses. Emerging evidence suggests that FTY720 also exerts direct actions on glial and precursor cells of the CNS which may be relevant for the process of tissue repair after injury. The therapeutic effects of the drug observed in animal models of human multiple sclerosis have provided the experimental basis for its clinical application. A recent Phase II study has demonstrated that oral FTY720 is effective in reducing disease activity in relapsing multiple sclerosis with a favorable adverse-effect profile. These results are awaiting confirmation in the three ongoing Phase III clinical trials evaluating FTY720 for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.
PMID: 18457527 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE