Monday, February 9, 2009

FTY720 and Bone Density

So far, throughout this trial, I have done my best to keep up on breaking news about FTY720. The worst news yet came in February 08, a year ago now, when two deaths of trial patients taking FTY720 were reported.

Other news that has been reported include the fact that it has a 50% increase in relapse reduction over Avonex, and reduction in symptoms of clinical depression in MS patients.

Data from the six-month placebo-controlled Phase II study of once-daily oral FTY720 in patients with MS found that the proportion of patients with clinical depression was significantly lower in the FTY720 groups at six months compared to placebo. Depression is a common co-morbid condition in people with MS; the presence of depression in MS may reduce adherence to disease-modifying therapy and lead to higher rates of treatment discontinuation.

This is all wonderful news!

Then, this morning, as I'm sitting here reading news online due to not being able to get my TV fix of it (help! I'm being held captive in a home with a giant TV that gets no TV signal) I come across this article:

Scientists discover key factor in controlling the breakdown of bone

The chemoattractant sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), which is associated with the trafficking of immune cells into and out of the lymph nodes, also caused immature osteoclasts to mobilize.

That's a mouthful, no doubt, but from what I gathered after reading that paper is that they are discovering that FTY720 can play a roll in keeping the cells that cause osteoporosis from doing their dirty deed.

Hence it may someday be used as a treatment for Osteoporosis. They are testing out their theories in mouse models. Little old mice walking with canes and trying not to fall off their exercise wheels lest they break a hip, I guess.

I am so excited about this news!!

I have bone loss due to excessive steroid use during the first 8 years of my MS since Copaxone sucked for keeping my MS under control. I can't tell you how many times I have had IVSM, but I do know that I have shrunk in height by 1.5" and that's nothing to sneeze at, lest I break something.

I'm not always so good about remembering to take my Calcium with D pills, but I have only ever missed 2 Fingolimod capsules in the past 18 months (and that's only because I went out of town on both occasions and didn't remember until I was too far away from my pill bottle).

Maybe the FTY720 might be helping my bone density, maybe not. They didn't say if it at all affected the bone density of those who damaged their bones with steroid use. At least it wasn't bad news.

Until they try out FTY720 on those mice they gave experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) (which is the mouse equivalent of MS) who have also undergone repeated treatments with steroids, I guess we'll never know.

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