Albany, New York (PRWEB) July 14, 2013
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammation of fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord. MS tends to affect the ability of nerve cells to communicate with each other in the brain and spinal cord. MS affects people with random symptoms based on the location and severity of attack. One event can last for days, weeks or months and can affect any part of the body. Symptoms include imbalance, loss of motor function, spasms, numbness, incontinence, and difficulty in swallowing.
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There is no known cure for the disease currently and the only drugs available in the market are for delaying the progression of the disease. MS is estimated to affect 2.5 million people worldwide with around 5000 new cases developing each year. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, Multiple Sclerosis Association of America and several others are organizations which are determined to ensure improvement in the lives of affected people to make them more educated and spread awareness of this disease.
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Until the last year, the MS drugs market was led primarily by injectables, yet this trend is changing very quickly to give way to oral MS drugs which is expected to grow strongly beginning from 2013. Gilenya and Aubagio are the top current oral drugs in this segment and Biogen’s oral BG-12 and Teva Laquinimod are two other drugs in the pipeline for approval with a significantly higher efficacy to be launched in the next five years. Although oral MS drugs seem to be growing quickly, it is not expected that they would unsettle injectables anytime soon.
Several fatal side effects have been linked to use of Gilenya among those who have a heart disease and thus shows that there is still a long way to go for oral MS drugs. Top contenders in this segment till now are Copaxone, Avonex, Rebif, Betaseron, and Tysabri. Most of these drugs work actively to control MS relapses. Other treatments such as stem-cell transplantation are currently under investigation. The process includes the injection of stem cells which will replace the affected inflamed and diseased cells, greatly improving patient’s quality of life.
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