- Treatment delivered in only two cycles one year apart -
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 1, 2017 /CNW/ - Sanofi Genzyme, the specialty business unit of sanofi-aventis Canada Inc., today announced that PEI Pharmacare has added LEMTRADA® (alemtuzumab) to the Pharmacare Formulary, for the management of adult patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), with active disease defined by clinical and imaging features, who have had an inadequate response to interferon beta or other disease-modifying therapies.
PEI joins a growing list of provinces, including Quebec, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, Alberta and Nova Scotia, in making the treatment available to patients 18 years or older who meet specific criteria.
"We are thrilled to hear that PEI is now the third Atlantic province to offer this treatment option to help people living with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) manage their disease," says Ben Davis, President of the MS Society of Canada, Atlantic Division. "Adding LEMTRADA® to the list of approved therapies for Islanders living with RRMS will help to make a difference in the lives of those who may choose this option. The MS Society of Canada encourages those who might be considering this treatment to consult with their healthcare team."
Approved in Canada in December 2013, LEMTRADA® is indicated for the management of adult patients with RRMS, defined by clinical factors and imaging results, who have had an inadequate response to interferon beta or other disease-modifying therapies.1
"I'm very pleased with the addition of LEMTRADA® to the drug benefit list on Prince Edward Island, says Dr. Gregg MacLean, a native Islander and Director of the MS Clinic in Saint John who conducts regular neurology clinics in Summerside. "This is an effective treatment for relapsing-remitting MS and represents an excellent option for some patients living with more aggressive forms of the disease."
"LEMTRADA® is a new medication with well-proven efficacy based on several clinical trials. In the right RRMS patient this will be a very useful therapy," says Dr. Richard Leckey who travels from the Dalhousie MS Research Unit in Halifax to conduct neurology clinics in Charlottetown.
LEMTRADA® is delivered in two annual treatment courses, with the first given over five days in year one, and the second over three days in year two. As patients require monitoring at regular intervals between treatment courses and for 48 months following the final infusion, Sanofi Genzyme provides a comprehensive and free patient support through its MS One to One™ program.
LEMTRADA® is a monoclonal antibody. Monoclonal antibodies are proteins which bind to a unique site (called an antigen) on cells. LEMTRADA® binds to an antigen, called CD52, which is present at high levels on certain cells of the immune system. LEMTRADA® works on the immune system so that it may not attack the nervous system as much.2 Important and complete safety information about LEMTRADA® can be found at: https://www.genzyme.ca/Products.aspx.
"We are very pleased for those living with RRMS in PEI. With their government joining the growing list of Canadian provinces now offering LEMTRADA® to eligible patients, they can now access the potential of this treatment when their existing therapy is not meeting their treatment goals," says Peter Brenders, General Manager, for Sanofi Genzyme Canada.
About MS in Canada
The Multiple Sclerosis International Federation's 2013 Atlas of MS reported that Canada has the highest rate of MS in the world with 291 cases per 100,000 people, followed by Denmark (227), Sweden (189), Hungary (176), Cyprus (175) and the U.K. (164).4
MS is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system which attacks myelin, the protective covering of the nerves, causing inflammation and often damaging the myelin. Myelin is necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses through nerve fibers. It is unpredictable and can cause symptoms such as extreme fatigue, lack of coordination, weakness, tingling, impaired sensation, vision problems, bladder problems, cognitive impairment and mood changes. Its effects can be physical, emotional and financial.5
MS can occur at any age, but is usually diagnosed between the ages of 15 to 40, peak years for education, career- and family-building. MS has been diagnosed in children as young as two years old – and in far older adults. MS is three times as likely to occur in women as in men and is more common in people of northern European background.5
LEMTRADA® is a registered trademark of Genzyme Corporation. All rights reserved.
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In Canada, we employ close to 1,900 people. In 2016 Sanofi companies invested $130 million in R&D in Canada, creating jobs, business and opportunity throughout the country.
Sanofi Genzyme focuses on developing specialty treatments for debilitating diseases that are often difficult to diagnose and treat, providing hope to patients and their families. Learn more at www.sanofigenzyme.ca.
1 LEMTRADA® Product Monograph. Available at https://www.genzyme.ca/Products.aspx
2 LEMTRADA® Consumer Information. Available at https://www.genzyme.ca/Products.aspx
3 Coles AJ et al. Alemtuzumab for patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis after disease-modifying therapy: a randomised controlled phase 3 trial. The Lancet. 2012 Nov 24;380(9856):1829-39. Available at: www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2812%2961768-1/fulltext. Accessed on June 26, 2016.
4 Multiple Sclerosis International Federation. Atlas of MS. http://www.msif.org/about-us/advocacy/atlas/?gclid=CNjEmKyRx80CFUwvgQodIxAN5A. Accessed June 26, 2016.
5 MS Society of Canada. Who Gets MS. https://mssociety.ca/about-ms/what-is-ms Accessed June 26, 2016.
SOURCE Sanofi Genzyme