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Press Release

Alberta includes LEMTRADA® (alemtuzumab) on provincial drug program for eligible patients

Sanofi Genzyme
Posted on: 01 Sep 16

Canada NewsWire

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 1, 2016

- Unique treatment delivered in only two cycles one year apart -

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 1, 2016 /CNW/ - Sanofi Genzyme, the specialty care global business unit of Sanofi, today announced that the Government of Alberta has added LEMTRADA® (alemtuzumab) to the Alberta Prescription Drug Program through special authorization for eligible people living with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). Alberta joins a growing list of provinces, including Quebec, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick, in making the unique treatment available to patients 18 years or older who meet specific criteria.

"We are excited that Alberta is positioned to provide more treatment options for those living with multiple sclerosis. MS impacts each person differently, which is why it's important for options to be available for those who have not responded to other treatments for relapsing-remitting MS," says Garry Wheeler, PhD, President, Alberta & Northwest Territories Division, MS Society of Canada. "We recommend that people living with MS consult with their healthcare team to determine the treatment option that is most appropriate for them."

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

"It is fantastic news that Lemtrada has been added to the drug benefit list in Alberta. This medication has the potential to transform the course of the disease, so I am pleased to know that more patients may have the opportunity to benefit from it. I have a number of patients on the drug, and with this news, it is my hope that this number will increase significantly," said Dr. Norbert Witt, Neurologist, Associate Clinical Professor of Neurology, University of Alberta.  

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 very happy that Alberta is now offering this unique treatment for eligible people living with relapsing-remitting MS who are in need of another option," says Peter Brenders, General Manager, Canada, Sanofi Genzyme. "Alberta's decision further emphasizes Lemtrada's transformative potential and capability to have a positive impact on the lives of patients."

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.5

LEMTRADA® and Genzyme® are registered trademarks of Genzyme Corporation. Sanofi® is a registered trademark of Sanofi.  All rights reserved.

About Sanofi
Sanofi, a global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients' needs. Sanofi is organized into five global business units: Diabetes and Cardiovascular, General Medicines and Emerging Markets, Sanofi Genzyme, Sanofi Pasteur and Merial.

Sanofi Genzyme focuses on developing specialty treatments for debilitating diseases that are often difficult to diagnose and treat, providing hope to patients and their families. Learn more at www.sanofigenzyme.ca.

LEMTRADA® and Genzyme® are registered trademarks of Genzyme Corporation. Sanofi® is a registered trademark of Sanofi. All rights reserved.

________________________________________________________________________________

References

1 LEMTRADA® Product Monograph. Available at https://www.genzyme.ca/Products.aspx
2 LEMTRADA® Consumer Information.  Available at https://www.genzyme.ca/Products.aspx
3 Coles AJ et al. Alemtuzumab for patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis after disease-modifying therapy: a randomised controlled phase 3 trial. The Lancet. 2012 Nov 24;380(9856):1829-39. Available at: www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2812%2961768-1/fulltext. Accessed on June 26, 2016.
4 Multiple Sclerosis International Federation. Atlas of MS. http://www.msif.org/about-us/advocacy/atlas/?gclid=CNjEmKyRx80CFUwvgQodIxAN5A. Accessed June 26, 2016.
5 MS Society of Canada. Who Gets MS. https://mssociety.ca/about-ms/what-is-ms Accessed June 26, 2016.

 

SOURCE Sanofi Genzyme

PR Newswire
www.prnewswire.com

Last updated on: 01/09/2016

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