As these discoveries came to light, the clinical effectiveness
of FTY720 or fingolimod (Gilenya, Novartis) for the treatment of MS was studied in two large phase III clinical trials involving relapsing-remitting MS patients [48, 49]. Compared with a placebo, fingolimod decreased the annualized relapse rate by 54% , and when compared with IFN-β, fingolimod decreased the annualized relapse rate from 0.33 to 0.16 . Thus, in September 2010 fingolimod was approved for use in patients with relapsing forms of MS. It should be noted that two deaths were reported in the trials [48, 49] but in patients taking a higher dose than that which is currently clinically approved. In one of these patients, disseminated primary varicella infection occurred during intravenous steroid treatment for relapse; in the other patient, herpes simplex encephalitis developed, also while the patient was on steroids. Other serious Akt phosphorylation reported effects of fingolimod include bradycardia, check details a slight increase in lower respiratory tract infections, macular edema, and a reported increase in the development of skin and breast cancers. More recently, as seen with natalizumab, cases of paradoxical worsening of MS , or tumefactive MS , have been reported after initiation of fingolimod although the cause of these rare events is still unclear. Furthermore there have been more recent reports
of serious herpes infections in patients taking fingolimod at the clinically approved dose [52, 53], reinforcing the need for further surveillance of safety 17-DMAG (Alvespimycin) HCl . Thus, patients treated with fingolimod will be followed by a 5-year postauthorization safety study to monitor for adverse events . Although the approval of natalizumab and fingolimod represents the successful targeting of molecules that modulate cell migration, the explosion of knowledge about other cell migration targets, such as the chemokine receptors, has thus far been challenging to translate into new clinical therapeutics. The reasons for these disappointing
results are numerous and have been thoroughly reviewed elsewhere recently [8, 56], but likely include “redundancy” of chemokine function, inadequate in vivo dosing, and the improper selection of targets as was suggested to have occurred in the clinical trials for CCR2 inhibition in rheumatoid arthritis . We believe that an improved understanding of the mechanism and side effects of natalizumab and fingolimod will help address some of these obstacles. For instance, both of these drugs have highlighted the subtleties of modulating lymphocyte trafficking, such as only affecting particular subsets, subtleties that were not fully appreciated prior to their clinical approval. Natalizumab, for instance, has been demonstrated to reduce the number of inflammatory cells in the cerebral spinal fluid of patients with MS, suggesting that it may indeed prevent the access of pathogenic T cells to the brain in humans .