Updated results from a Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating Merck KGaA's (OTCPK:MKGAY) evobrutinib (formerly designated as M2951) in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) showed a sustained treatment benefit. The data were presented at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in Philadelphia and simultaneously published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The positive effect on T1 gadolinium-enhancing lesions at week 12 were maintained through week 48. 79% of patients receiving the 75 mg dose twice-daily remained relapse-free over the 48-week treatment period.
No new safety signals were observed.
In March, the company announced that the trial met the primary endpoint.
Evobrutinib is an orally available inhibitor of an enzyme called Bruton's tyrosine kInase (BTK) which plays a key role in the development and functioning of certain immune cells. Inhibiting BTK dampens inflammation by suppressing the immune response without affecting T cells (preserves immunity).
Development is ongoing.
MS-related tickers: Biogen (NASDAQ:BIIB); AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV); Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG); MediciNova (NASDAQ:MNOV); TG Therapeutics (NASDAQ:TGTX); Novartis (NYSE:NVS); Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY); Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY); Alkermes plc (NASDAQ:ALKS)
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