Cladribine: NICE looking at new treatment for MS

Published date: 30 Aug 2017 at 11:09AM

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has licensed cladribine (also known as Mavenclad) to treat people with highly active relapsing MS.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) will now decide whether to make it available on the NHS in England and Wales. The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) will decide for Scotland.

>> Read more about cladribine

How does it work?

Cladribine is currently used as an anti-cancer drug.

In MS, the body’s own immune cells mistakenly attack the myelin that protects nerve cell fibres. Cladribine works by reducing the number of immune cells in the body, which should reduce the damage to myelin.

Cladribine is taken as two courses of tablets, one year apart.

Reducing relapses

A phase 3 study showed that people who took a higher dose of cladribine reduced the relapse rate by 55% compared to the placebo. For people on a lower dose, the relapse rate reduced by 58%.

After two years of follow-up, cladribine maintained these relapse rates.

What happens next?

We’re talking to NICE and other UK appraisal bodies to make sure cladribine becomes available on the NHS. We’re expecting a decision in February 2018.

We want to see all licensed MS treatments available on the NHS for everyone who’s eligible.

Read more

Page last updated: 30 Aug 2017

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