Novartis wins FDA approval of first oral MS drug

The (FDA) has approved the first oral drug for treating the most common form of multiple sclerosis.  Novartis received FDA advisory committee approval by a unanimous vote in June, and now the drug has the FDA’s approval for patient treatment.  Unlike current MS drugs which are given by injections or infusion, this new drug, called Gilenya (fingolimod) comes in a convenient daily capsule dosage form.

Multiple Sclerosis affects about 2.5 million people in the world & over 400,000 in the United States alone.  What causes MS is still not known & Gilenya is not a cure but a treatment to lessen the progression and symptoms of MS.  According to Novartis, Gilenya can cut the relapse rate of patients by more than 60%.

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