New (miracle?) drug described on Today this morning

Did anybody hear Professor Peter Lachlan describe a new (miracle?) drug for MS that is ‘just about coming to market’, on the Today programme on Radio 4 this morning? He said it was a ‘monocloidal antibody’ (I think). Here is the link:

and he talks about the drug right near the end of the piece (10.45 mins through) but he doesn’t say the name of the drug or what stage of MS you need to take it at. Does anyone know anything about this?

I haven’t listened to the article, but think they’re probably talking about Tysabri, which is a monoclonal antibody - arguably only “just” coming to market.

It’s been available to a restricted range of patients for a while (mostly those for whom conventional firstline treatments have proved ineffective, I believe), but it’s recently been announced it could be approved as a firstline therapy, which would mean patients wouldn’t have to try (and fail!) with other drugs first.


To date only one monoclonal antibody has been licensed as a treatment for MS: natalizumab or as it is more commonly known Tysabri

To be honest I was fairly flummoxed at his suggestion that we do away with Stage 111 Clinical trials to get people onto new medications faster… that is potentially so dangerous. It is oftne only in the Stage 111 trials that the true safety data and efficacy are seen.


Haven’t listened, but could they have been talking about Campath, aka Lemtrada? Bit of a stretch to call it new, but it’s only now that the manufacturer is going for official approval for MS.

Karen x

I heard it and think it might be Campath… he said that while waiting to get approval many people would have gone past ‘the window’ where it would have been useful for them (my words but something like that)… so I suppose he means it will be useful for people newly dx.

Pat x

I am sure it is Campath, or the stronger version Alemtuzmab which shows promising results. Problem is it will be very expensive. Campath was withdrawn by the makers Sanofi and is awaiting FDA clearance. The suggestion is that the price will be trebled to aroung US$75k a year, which would be a problem for NICE. The company has just lost a number of highly profitable drungs which are now out of licence and need this to cover the lost profit.