I intend this blog to be a mixture of my personal experiences with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and news related to MS. Hopefully, I can shed an optimistic light on MS even though it is difficult to be an optimist living with MS.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cladribine Denied FDA Approval & More Ways to Get Involved

From an article on Multiple Sclerosis Association of America's website:
EMD Serono, Inc., makers of Cladribine Tablets (an oral formulation of cladribine), announced today that they received a complete response letter (CRL) from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA issues a CRL when it has completed the review of an application. However, in this situation, the FDA was not able to approve the application without additional information. The announcement was disappointing to members of the MS community, who were hoping to see another option added to the list of available disease-modifying therapies for the long-term treatment of MS.
According to EMD Serono, the FDA found substantial evidence of Cladribine Tablets' effectiveness as indicated by the CLARITY study. While the effectiveness was not in question, the FDA is looking for an improved understanding of safety risks and the overall benefit-risk profile. This will require either additional analysis of presently available data, or additional studies to be conducted.
The drug company plans to request an end-of-review meeting with the FDA. During such a meeting, EMD Serono would find out how to proceed and if data from completed and ongoing clinical studies with Cladribine Tablets could be sufficient to answer the FDA's questions about safety.
EMD Serono notes that they remain committed to completing their ongoing studies with Cladribine Tablets and to continue to seek FDA approval of their drug. Three ongoing studies are nearing completion, and top-line results (the initial, primary outcomes of a study) are expected by the end of 2011 and in the first half of 2012. The safety data from these studies should provide valuable, additional safety data for the FDA to consider.
Cladribine is an investigational oral drug being studied for the long-term treatment of relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). It was submitted to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval and received Fast Track status in July 2010. Fast Track status reduces the FDA's review time from 10 months down to six - and a decision was expected by November 28, 2010. However, the agency extended the review time by three months, with a decision anticipated by February 28, 2011.
While Cladribine Tablets were approved earlier this year in Australia and Russia (under the trade name Movectroi®), European regulators issued a negative opinion in regard to whether the benefits outweigh the risks. Merck Serono (a division of Merck KGaA) plans to appeal this negative decision, which came from the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency. This rejection was issued in September 2010, prior to the FDA extending its review period of the drug. 

It would have been nice to have another oral therapy available, but if the risks outweigh the benefits then it is better that we wait for more testing to be done.

More Ways to Get Involved:

1.  PUREWATER2GO, maker of fine filtered water bottles, has chosen to honor MSWorld during the month of March, MS Awareness Month!  This company shares the essence of MSWorld in their desire to improve quality of life.  For more information about this offer, click here.

2.  Register for MSAA’s webinar “MS on the Fast Track: The 411" and have your questions about MS answered by Mark Tullman, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Director of the Columbia University MS Clinical Care Center.  Click here to register!

3.  Swim for MS is one way to help raise funds and awareness – any pool, any time. See what some of the swimmers have been up to by visiting the MSAA Swim for MS website.


  1. I tried to click on the link for PUREWATER2GO but was told that there is an error.

    I'd like a link so I that can check it out.


  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Sorry about that, thanks for bringing the error to my attention. I think I have fixed the problem, but if you still experience an error, the website is: http://www.purewater2go.com/msawareness?utm_source=MSWorld+Express&utm_campaign=4a6a90ac09-MSWorldNewslettersMarch03_20111-Special&utm_medium=email

  4. It can be googled too. Hey, I would have been DX MS at 27 too, if I had gone into doctor. Sort of glad I waited. You are smart to make some good from a bad situation. Fear not, the majority of people DX MS live very normal lives. PLUS you are young enough to take advantage of any new viable research! Welcome to the world/family of MS blogging!

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