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Teriflunomide (Aubagio) approved for treatment of MS in the US

17th September, 2012


Teriflunomide (Aubagio) has been approved as a treatment for relapsing remitting MS in the US by the Food and Drug Administration. Teriflunomide is a once-daily oral therapy that acts on the immune system to reduce relapses, slow the progression of physical disability and reduce brain lesions in people with MS in comparison to placebo in Phase III clinical trials.

The effect of teriflunomide on relapse rates is slightly below that of beta interferon treatments, but it has a better side effects profile and removes the requirement for injection. There is an increased risk of liver problems for people taking teriflunomide and the approval comes with a requirement for a boxed warning for prescribers and patients and a recommendation that ongoing liver tests are performed.

Teriflunomide acts by blocking the proliferation and functioning of activated T and B lymphocytes, immune cells which are thought to be especially damaging in MS.

MS Research Australia understands teriflunomide will be undergoing assessment for approval by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Council (PBAC) in Australia within the next month. MS Research Australia welcomes this progress towards another treatment choice for people with MS.