Volantis logo Gilenya seems to be the first oral treatment in a new class of drugs called sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor (S1PR) modulators. Scientists claim that Gilenya reduces the threat of disability progression in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), regardless of treatment history. The study findings may have great significance in the medical zone.

A two-year FREEDOMS study was undertaken in which Gilenya supposedly decreased relapses by 54 percent and risk of 3-month confirmed disability progression by 30 percent as compared to placebo over two years. Scientists showed that 493 patients treated with 0.5mg Gilenya had a 37 reduction in the risk of 3-month confirmed disability progression than placebo. Consistent favorable effects on disability progression appeared for Gilenya-treated patients even after considering factors such as age, gender and disease severity.

“In developing Gilenya, Novartis initiated a large clinical trial program that would provide the MS community with robust data to define the efficacy and safety profile of this oral treatment for relapsing forms of MS. Our scientific presence at AAN is evidence of our commitment to continued research and ongoing reporting of clinical information to physicians and patients,” said Trevor Mundel, MD, Global Head of Development at Novartis Pharma AG.

The most common side effects of Gilenya may be headache, liver enzyme elevations, influenza, diarrhea, back pain, and cough. Other Gilenya-related side effects probably include transient, generally asymptomatic, heart rate reduction and atrioventricular block upon treatment initiation, mild blood pressure increase, macular edema, and mild bronchoconstriction. In conclusion, it was affirmed that Gilenya is a better medication for restricting disability progression.

The study was presented at the 63rd annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.