It’s no fun jabbing yourself once-a-day if you’re using the multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone. I, eventually, hit a brick wall self-injecting when I was using Avonex and that was just sticking myself once-a-week.
But now Teva Pharmaceutical has what should be good news for Canadians using Copaxone. Health Canada has approved a three-times-a-week version of the drug. Three-times-a-week Copaxome 40 mg/mL is expected to become available to patients there, by prescription, later this fall.
Teva Pharmaceutical says Copaxone 40mg.mL is indicated for the treatment of patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). It’s injected subcutaneously and those injections should be spaced at least 48 hours apart.
In addition to the newly approved dose, daily Copaxone 20 mg/mL will continue to be available.
Tri-weekly Copaxone already available in U.S. and Europe
Three-times-a-week Copaxone was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in January, 2014. Teva Pharmaceuticals says as of last June about 61,500 MS patients were using the drug in the U.S. In Europe, the MHRA and other EU member states issued a positive assessment report under the decentralized procedure in December 2014, and since launch, three-times-a-week Copaxone has been prescribed to more than 36,000 patients.
The Health Canada approval was based primarily on data from a Phase III study, which was the largest Copaxone clinical trial to date. It included more than 1,400 patients.
Many different MS drugs available for injection
Copaxone is one of several disease modifying drugs available to treat Multiple Sclerosis. Others, approved for use in the Unite States and listed on the National MS Society’s web site, include:
- Avonex (interferon beta-1a)
- Betaseron (interferon beta-1b)
- Extavia (interferon beta-1b)
- Glatopa (glatiramer acetate — generic equivalent of Copaxone 20mg dose)
- Plegridy (peginterferon beta-1a)
- Rebif (interferon beta-1a)
- Zinbryta (daclizumab)
That web site also includes an excellent list of all of the drugs approved for treating Multiple Sclerosis exacerbations and managing MS symptoms.