Sunday, May 11

AAN 2009: Incidence of PML with Natalizumab in MS Lower Than Previously Thought

May 5, 2009 (Seattle, Washington) — The risk of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a viral brain infection, in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) taking the drug natalizumab (Tysabri, Biogen Idec) appears to be much lower — and the infection less deadly — than previously estimates, according to new postmarketing surveillance data.

Previous research found that the risk of developing PML was 1 in 1000, but new data show that the risk is closer to 1.2 per 10,000 patients, according to Carmen Bozic, MD, vice president and global head of drug safety and risk management for the maker of natalizumab, Biogen Idec, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Dr. Bozic delivered an updated overview of the risks and benefits of natalizumab here during the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) 61st Annual in MedScape Today