- Unique treatment delivered in only two cycles one year apart -
MISSISSAUGA, ON , Aug. 25, 2016 /CNW/ - Sanofi Genzyme, the specialty care global business unit of Sanofi, today announced that the Government of New Brunswick has added LEMTRADA® (alemtuzumab) to the New Brunswick Prescription Drug Program (NBPDP) through special authorization for eligible people living with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
New Brunswick joins a growing list of provinces, including Quebec, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario in making the unique treatment available to patients 18 years or older who meet specific criteria.
"We are very excited to see New Brunswick become the first Atlantic province to offer this treatment option to help people living with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) manage their disease," says Ben Davis, President of the MS Society of Canada, Atlantic Division.
"Knowing that Lemtrada is now available for New Brunswickers living with RRMS is a great step forward, and our hope is that soon, all Atlantic Canadians will have access to this disease modifying therapy so that they can choose the option that may work best for them. The MS Society of Canada encourages those who might be considering this treatment to consult with their healthcare team."
Approved in Canada in December 2013, LEMTRADA® is indicated for the management of adult patients with RRMS, defined by clinical factors and imaging results, who have had an inadequate response to interferon beta or other disease-modifying therapies.1
"I'm very pleased at the addition of Lemtrada to the drug benefit list here in New Brunswick. This is a unique and highly effective treatment for RRMS and represents an excellent option for some patients living with more aggressive forms of the disease," said Dr. Gregg MacLean, Neurologist and Director of the MS Clinic in Saint John, New Brunswick.
LEMTRADA® is delivered in two annual treatment courses, with the first given over five days in year one, and the second over three days in year two. As patients require monitoring at regular intervals between treatment courses and for 48 months following the final infusion, Sanofi Genzyme provides unique, comprehensive and free patient support through its MS One to One™ program.
LEMTRADA® is a monoclonal antibody. Monoclonal antibodies are proteins which bind to a unique site (called an antigen) on cells. LEMTRADA® binds to an antigen, called CD52, which is present at high levels on certain cells of the immune system. LEMTRADA® works on the immune system so that it may not attack the nervous system as much.2 Important and complete safety information about LEMTRADA can be found at: https://www.genzyme.ca/Products.aspx.
The Phase III study CARE MS II showed that, as a second-line treatment, LEMTRADA® is more effective than interferon beta-1a in reducing the annual relapse rate and the time to onset of sustained accumulation of disability.3
"We are thrilled to see New Brunswick joining the growing list of provinces that see the transformative potential of this exciting and unique treatment for those in need of another option," says Peter Brenders, General Manager, Canada, Sanofi Genzyme.
About MS in Canada
The Multiple Sclerosis International Federation's 2013 Atlas of MS reported that Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world with 291 cases per 100,000 people, followed by Denmark (227), Sweden (189), Hungary (176), Cyprus (175) and the U.K. (164).4
MS is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system which attacks myelin, the protective covering of the nerves, causing inflammation and often damaging the myelin. Myelin is necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses through nerve fibres. It is unpredictable and can cause symptoms such as extreme fatigue, lack of coordination, weakness, tingling, impaired sensation, vision problems, bladder problems, cognitive impairment and mood changes. Its effects can be physical, emotional and financial.5
MS can occur at any age, but is usually diagnosed between the ages of 15 to 40, peak years for education, career- and family-building. MS has been diagnosed in children as young as two years old – and in far older adults. MS is three times as likely to occur in women as in men and is more common in people of northern European background.
Last updated on: 27/08/2016
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