Last month, The New England Journal of Medicine published the results from a clinical trial on relapsing-remitting MS, called DECIDE.
This 96 week trial tested a new monoclonal antibody drug, called daclizumab, in 1,841 people. Monoclonal antibodies recognise and attach to specific proteins produced by cells. They work in different ways depending on the protein they are targeting.
Daclizumab is injected under the skin every four weeks. During the trial the researchers compared the effectiveness of daclizumab to Interferon beta-1a injected once a week.
Among people with relapsing–remitting MS, daclizumab appeared more effective than interferon beta-1a with regard to the number of relapses and the number of new lesions (assessed by MRI). The drug was safe, although the rates of infection, rash, and abnormalities on liver-function testing were higher with daclizumab than with interferon beta-1a.
Overall, daclizumab seems to be an effective drug in reducing the relapse rate and the number of new lesions in people with relapsing-remitting MS. Its frequency of administration, which is just once every four weeks, can guarantee a good compliance to the treatment and a good quality of life. However, daclizumab did not seem to significantly lower the risk of disability progression, which still remains a big challenge in MS.
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