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L1: Improving understanding of mechanism of action of immunomodulatory drugs

L1: Improving understanding of mechanism of action of immunomodulatory drugs
  • Neurology

Resource type


Improving understanding of mechanism of action of immunomodulatory drugs B. Kieseier

B. Kieseier 

Department of Neurology, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany

The mechanism of action (MOA) of any drug has major implications for its efficacy and safety profile, whatever the therapeutic area. In MS, work to characterize the MOA of the disease modifying drugs (DMD) interferon beta and glatiramer acetate has been ongoing for many years. Evidence is emerging that these drugs have complex, multifactorial mechanisms, involving multiple aspects of the innate and acquired immune system. Natalizumab and fingolimod have more recently become available for the treatment of MS. In contrast to immunomodulatory mechanisms of interferon beta and glatiramer acetate, both of these drugs affect MS pathology by limiting entry of activated immune cells to the central nervous system, although by different mechanisms, which are reflected in each drug’s efficacy and safety profile.

This presentation summarizes what is known about the MOA of the currently available treatments for MS, as well as the proposed MOAs of DMDs still in development. The adverse event profile of a drug is intimately linked to the MOA and the clinical implications of this for current and new drugs will be discussed. The hope is that in the future a full understanding of the MOA of each available drug may translate to more informed treatment decisions to suit individual patients.

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by Excemed