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Interview with Dr. Emmanuelle Waubant on the latest MS treatment options - part 1

Waubant MS AAN 2014 part 1

Interview by Whitney McKnight, Frontline Medical News, with Dr. Emmanuelle Waubant, Professor of Neurology and pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco.

The field is working hard on developing new biomarkers for proper diagnosis of MS. It is challenging to find distinguishing markers. In this respect, recently some promising antibodies were found in a German study, but these findings need to be further validated. Biomarkers to determine if a treatment is safe or to determine the treatment efficacy are also important. E.g. the natalizumab companion diagnostic to detect sensitivity to one of the more severe side effects of the drug (PML). This helps to monitor if it is safe to continue this drug in a given patient and helps in terms of compliance as well.

Only of a few approved medications the mechanism of action is actually known. In many cases where mechanisms of action are known, it is still not clear which are the most relevant for MS treatment. Newer drugs are often developed based on their mechanism of action, so of these a lot more is known. Still, in many cases the main pathway that the drugs affect is known, but it is not totally clear if that is the only (relevant) effect of the drug.