Genzyme has announced that the European Commission ( EC ) has granted marketing authorization for Lemtrada ( Alemtuzumab ).
Lemtrada is indicated for the treatment of adult patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis ( RRMS ) with active disease defined by clinical or imaging features.
Lemtrada 12 mg has a novel dosing and administration schedule of two annual treatment courses. The first treatment course of Lemtrada is administered via intravenous infusion on five consecutive days, and the second course is administered on three consecutive days, 12 months later.
The Lemtrada clinical development program included two pivotal randomized Phase III studies comparing treatment with Lemtrada to high-dose subcutaneous Interferon beta-1a ( Rebif ) in patients with RRMS who had active disease and were either new to treatment ( CARE-MS I ) or who had relapsed while on prior therapy ( CARE-MS II ), as well as an ongoing extension study.
In CARE-MS I, Lemtrada was significantly more effective than Interferon beta-1a at reducing annualized relapse rates; the difference observed in slowing disability progression did not reach statistical significance.
In CARE-MS II, Lemtrada was significantly more effective than Interferon beta-1a at reducing annualized relapse rates, and accumulation of disability was significantly slowed in patients given Lemtrada vs. Interferon beta-1a.
The most common side effects of Lemtrada are infusion associated reactions, infections ( upper respiratory tract and urinary tract ), lymphopenia and leukopenia.
Serious autoimmune conditions can occur in patients receiving Lemtrada.
A comprehensive risk management program will support early detection and management of these autoimmune events.
Alemtuzumab is a monoclonal antibody that selectively targets CD52, a protein abundant on T and B cells. Treatment with Alemtuzumab results in the depletion of circulating T and B cells thought to be responsible for the damaging inflammatory process in multiple sclerosis. Alemtuzumab has minimal impact on other immune cells.
The acute anti-inflammatory effect of Alemtuzumab is immediately followed by the onset of a distinctive pattern of T and B cell repopulation that continues over time, rebalancing the immune system in a way that potentially reduces multiple sclerosis disease activity. ( Xagena )
Source: Genzyme, 2013