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FDA Issues Public Health Advisory on Tysabri, a New Drug for MS

roval, FDA conducted an intensive analysis of possible adverse events that might be related to effects of the drug on the immune system. No cases of PML were seen in the clinical trials. However, for any approved therapy, new and unexpected adverse events may occur that were not seen in clinical trials. In the case of Tysabri, required post-marketing studies facilitated the rapid reporting and response to this new information.

According to Biogen, Idec, outside of the approximately 3,000 patients who received the drug in clinical trials, approximately 5,000 additional patients with MS have received Tysabri through their primary physician. Because Tysabri was just recently approved, these patients have only received at most a few doses of Tysabri.

The FDA will maintain close contact with the company during the process of understanding the relationship between Tysabri and these two serious adverse events. The company is working on ways to get additional information soon about the possible risks of PML from the patients who have received Tysabri in the clinical trials.

The FDA urges health care providers and patients to report adverse event information to FDA via the MedWatch program by phone (1-800-FDA-1088), by fax (1-800-FDA-0178) or by the Internet at www.fda.gov/medwatch/index.html.
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