A drug currently under evaluation for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis showed positive results during a 16-month clinical trial, Novartis said in a release.
The findings, presented April 24 at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting, showed the Novartis drug Gilenya for treating relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis kept 60 percent of patients in remission and stalled growth of new or existing brain lesions while patients suffered no worsening impairment. For 38 percent of the patients, the drug additionally kept patients from experiencing brain shrinkage.
Vas Narasimhan, chief medical officer for Novartis, said the study opens up a new diagnostic technique for Gilenya.
“These ground-breaking new data showing brain shrinkage can be reliably measured by routine MRI scans have the potential to change how this key measure of disease progression is monitored,” Narasimhan said in the press release.
It will “ultimately help patients and physicians observe and manage treatment success and outcomes,” he said.