Drug developed by Haverhill scientists now available on NHS

Aubagio box
Aubagio box

A new treatment for sufferers of multiple sclerosis developed by Haverhill scientists is now available on the NHS.

Aubagio® (teriflunomide) is now available for people with relapsing RRMS.

Aubagio batch

Aubagio batch

This does not include patients with highly active or rapidly evolving severe relapsing-remitting MS.

Following the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) approval, adult patients with RRMS1 will be able to have access to treatment with Aubagio.

RRMS accounts for 85 per cent of all initial diagnoses in MS, and is a condition that has, until now, been limited to initial treatment options that are injectable.

The decision is welcomed by the MS community, and in the UK alone, approximately 100,000 people are living with the debilitating disease.

The availability of Aubagio offers an alternative to adult patients who find it a burden and inconvenience to have to administer regular injections.

The drug was granted marketing authorisation based on efficacy and safety data from two clinical trials.

This, coupled with the fact that Aubagio®is a convenient, once-daily, oral treatment, has led to comments on NICE’s positive approval today by Dr Benjamin Turner, clinical neurologist at Barts Health NHS Trust.

“This is good news for people with MS and is a significant milestone in improving the care of MS patients in the UK,” he said.

The NICE approval of Aubagio represents an alternative first line treatment for people with MS who have previously had to undergo regular injections.

Aubagio® is the first medicine in Genzyme’s pipeline of MS therapies to become available to patients in the UK

Brendan Martin, general manager for Genzyme UK and Ireland: “This is a very exciting time and the launch of Aubagio represents an important milestone for Genzyme as we provide new options to the MS community.

“Our commitment to improving the lives of people with MS goes beyond advancing treatment options, and we have a patient support programme underway to further support patients in adherence.”

The Genzyme site in Rookwood Way, Haverhill, employs 380 people.

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (January 30) Echo.