After three decades of research a transformational new treatment for multiple sclerosis has come to light. The research project happened in Cambridge and today it has got approved by the EU agency which is responsible for regulating any new drugs. The European Medicines Agency in short known as EMA has approved the new drug Alemtuzumab. It will be known by the brand name of Lemtrada. Previously it was known as Campath-1H (for ‘Cambridge Pathology 1st Human’). In support of the new drug the University of Cambridge has produced a video which shows the history of the drug during the course of it’s development.
Geoff Hale, Herman Waldmann and Mike Clark from the University of Cambridge, with Lutz Riechmann and Greg Winter in LMB, produced the first of it’s kind monoclonal antibody which is potential for using as a medicine. It is known as Campath-1H (now known as Alemtuzumab), adopted the technique of ‘humanising’ these antibodies in order to reduce the risk of the drug being rejected by human patients.
Alemtuzumab virtually reboots the immune system of your body by first depleting a important class of immune cells, known as lymphocytes. The system then regenerates, Which leads to a modified immune response that no longer takes myelin and nerves as foreign body. But it shows a side effect in MS patients. They develop another autoimmune disease after Alemtuzumab, which mainly targets the thyroid gland and more rarely other tissues like blood platelets.
Professor Herman Waldmann said that ”We are very pleased and proud of this outcome.” It is estimated that around 100,000 people in the United Kingdom (UK) and 400,000 people in the United States (US) suffer from MS. This auto immune disease can lead to loss of physical skills, vision, sensation, control of your bladder, and some intellectual abilities.