Treating Multiple Sclerosis with Monoclonal Antibodies: A 2010 Update

Mathias Buttmann


Expert Rev Neurother. 2010;10(5):791-809. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Treating multiple sclerosis (MS) with monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) has been marked by both progress and setbacks in the past 2 years, which are reviewed here. The natalizumab section of the article centers around progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), and discusses PML risk in relation to treatment duration, bioassays for individual risk prediction, the concept of drug holidays, clinical course and treatment of PML, as well as safety-related regulatory actions. The rituximab section critically analyzes recent clinical trial results, discusses the clinical relevance of anti-idiotypic mAbs and makes a short excursion to neuromyelitis optica. Following this, the newer anti-CD20 mAbs ocrelizumab and ofatumumab, which are currently being tested in Phase II for MS, are reviewed and compared. The alemtuzumab section highlights novel data on mechanisms of action, potentially allowing individual risk prediction, and new results from the CAMMS223 trial, as well as the current status of the pivotal MS studies. The daclizumab section summarizes new open-label data, shedding more light on the adverse-effect profile of the drug in MS patients, and reports on its Phase III status. Subsequently, a failed ustekinumab trial and LY2127399 are reviewed. Taking into account late Phase II and III data on novel oral agents, the final section attempts to provide a detailed perspective on disease-modifying MS therapy in the medium term.


The 2 years since the publication of a review on the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) with monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) in the March 2008 issue of this journal have seen significant progress in the field. This article critically highlights the advancements and setbacks of the past 2 years. It is intended as a nonredundant update for readers of the previous article, which we therefore recommend is read first.[1]


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