Athlone-based pharmaceutical company, Elan, and its US partner Biogen have announced that their drug Tysabri has been proven to significantly reduce the rate of hospitalisation of patients with moderate-to-severe Crohn’s disease.
The results of the studies were announced on Wednesday this week, following extensive trials. The data revealed that in patients treated with Tysabri, the rate of all-cause hospitalisations was reduced by 35 per cent during the initial period of treatment and 44 per cent during the maintenance period.
“The results of this analysis showing reduced hospitalisation rates, together with subset data previously announced at Digestive Disease Week in May, provide additional support that Tysabri is an important treatment option for patients with this chronic and debilitating disease,” said Elan president Carlos V. Paya.
“Tysabri continues to show benefits in improving quality of life, in Crohn’s disease patients, as well as in multiple sclerosis patients who also exhibit benefits across clinical and radiological measures.”
Elan was given the go-ahead in January 2008 to market Tysabri in the US for the treatment of bowel disorder Crohn’s disease, which affects an estimated 500,000 people in the US.
Tysabri is also used in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (MS ), although it contains tight restrictions and a strong warning about a potentially fatal brain infection, PML.
However, European regulators are said to be reviewing the safety of the drug, after it was linked to 23 cases of the infection.