Apr 042005

Realizing that this is kinda old news I decided to write on it anyway, Elan, Biogen Sink on Third Tysabri-Linked Illness. It was certainly bad before, but a case of PML where there was only the use of Tysabri seems like it could be the final nail in the coffin. Too bad, Tysabri certainly seemed to be an excellent drug for MS; unfortunately a little too powerful. I guess the question then becomes can the drop the dosage, frequency, etc. to see if that will work or maybe they will just blame it on the use in combination with azathioprine. On the other hand is it even ethical to do that kind of testing with the possibility of the risks? -I would ask “would anyone even be willing to go on another Tysabri trial” but no doubt there are plenty who would take it as it is now even with the risks.

 Posted by at 8:32 pm

  6 Responses to “The End of Tysabri?”

  1. Erik,

    There are people who do not tolerate the interferons. For them, Tysabri meant hope. My 19-year-old daughter did wonderful on Rebif until her liver enzymes climbed to over 300. While she is currently on Copaxone, it is known not to be as effective for more aggressive forms of MS. Tysabri meant hope for her aggressive MS. I could not say that she would not take the risk of chosing it again if it does reappear on the market. As her neurologist told her, MS can be fatal too. I can’t tell you how many obits in our local paper the past few months were for people in their 40s dying of “complications of MS”.

    We must remember that not everyone has their MS under relatively stable control.

    Donna(Mom of a wonderful 19-year-old with MS)

  2. Death from MS is pretty rare, though it certainly does happen. I’ve knowm quite a few people who have had liver problems with Rebif, but at least there is still a choice. I am fortunate enough that I can be a lot more conservative in my treatment; I know all are not afforded that luxery.

  3. Donna & Erik,
    I still am holding out high hopes for Tysabri. I don’t wish to take the 3rd gentleman’s death lightly and I hope that he will rest in peace but he was taking some other immunosuppresants that are wicked to your ability to fight off infection, the major culprit being Azathione (?) AKA Imuran, which has apparantly caused PML in others. I am saddened by this death but I believe there is still some hope for Tysabri.

  4. Mouse, you may be right, but as the article said it will probably be years before it is back on the market. It will probably come with some pretty significant restrictions and limitations, like never having had Rebif/Avonex.

  5. Erik,

    I just saw my doctor a couple of days ago and talked to him about Tysabri. He was/is deeply involved in the studdies and is in constant close contact with Biogen/Elan about the status of Tysabri. He said they still plan on releasing it late this summer early fall but need to determine what type of pre-test might be needed to rule out those who might be more susseptible to PML. Right now their focus is what to do if any to those that were involved in all the studdies.

    Once it is released again I plan on taking it mainly because I also have Crohn’s and it is being tested on Crohns although not as successful as they hoped. I haven’t been able to control my Crohns with anything yet and I refuse to go on prednisone long term so Tysabri is my next hope.

    Besides my fear of self injection makes taking tysabri more appealing if at all…

  6. I hope that Tysabri works out for you then. I cannot imagine having Crohns and then nothing working! 🙁

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