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Can you picture neurologists partying on Bourbon St?
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Can you picture neurologists partying on Bourbon St?

Most probably you can't get an appointment with your neurologist this week here in the States because it is the week of the annual American Academy of Neurology meetings. This year the meetings are being held in New Orleans, which might be a waste of a perfectly good party town since neuros are not so much known for their life outside of medicine.  :-)

The proceedings should prompt a lot of news from the world of MS and I have  a couple links and emails already that should be of interest to you.  If you find news from AAN to share  - all the pharmas are there - please add them to this post.  It really is an exciting time to know researchers are unlocking new ways to deal with this MiSerable disease.

the program book, which includes a list of all sessions for the week as well as a brief description of the poster presentations can be seen at

Even if I don't understand all the details, the concepts of what they are studying is always fascinating to review. The poster presentation listing starts on page 49.

be smart(er)
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An overview of what Biogen Idec will be unveiling this week I have copied from this source:

"Key study results to be presented include:

BG-12: Detailed results from CONFIRM (Comparator and an Oral Fumarate in RRMS), the second pivotal Phase 3 study evaluating the investigational oral compound in people with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), will be presented for the first time.
TYSABRI: Important new data from two studies:
The ongoing TYSABRI Observational Program (TOP) assessing long-term outcomes in RRMS patients in the postmarketing setting
TYNERGY, a multicenter one-year clinical follow-up study conducted to evaluate the effect of TYSABRI on MS-related fatigue
DEXPRAMIPEXOLE: Design, methodology and baseline features of EMPOWER, the largest randomized, placebo-controlled, Phase 3 clinical trial conducted in patients with ALS to date
Additional presentations include long-term data for AVONEX; data highlighting FAMPYRA, the first oral formulation indicated for the improvement of walking in adult MS patients with walking disability; and full data from the DAC HYP Phase 2b SELECT trial.

Notable data from Biogen Idec at AAN 2012:


Clinical Efficacy of BG-12 in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS): Data From the Phase 3 CONFIRM Study – Platform S01.003
Safety and Tolerability of BG-12 in Patients With Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis (RRMS): Analyses From the CONFIRM Study – Platform S41.005

Updated Incidence of Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy in Natalizumab-Treated Multiple Sclerosis Patients Stratified by Established Risk Factors – Platform S41.001
Anti-JCV Antibody Prevalence in Patients with Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis Receiving or Considering Treatment with Natalizumab: Baseline Results of STRATIFY-2 – Platform S41.002
Long-Term Safety and Efficacy and Association Between Baseline Treatment History and Postbaseline Relapses in Multiple Sclerosis Patients Treated with Natalizumab in the TYSABRI Observational Program (TOP) – Poster P04.134
Natalizumab Reduces Fatigue as Measured by the Fatigue Scale for Motor and Cognitive Functions (FSMC) – First Results from the TYNERGY Trial – Poster P07.081

An Early Disease Activity Composite Can Predict Long-Term Disease Outcome in CHAMPIONS – Discussed Poster PD5.010
Does Change in Patient-Reported QOL Correlate with Change in Other Clinical and MRI Measures in Early MS? Analysis of the 10-Year CHAMPIONS Cohort – Poster P07.100

Relationship between Heat Intolerance and Response to Prolonged-Release Fampridine in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis – Poster P07.078
Response to Prolonged-Release Fampridine in Multiple Sclerosis Patients with Various Walking-Related MS Symptoms – Poster P07.079

A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of Daclizumab HYP Monotherapy in Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: Primary Results of the SELECT Trial – Platform S01.005
CD56bright Natural Killer Cell Expansion Predicts Response to Daclizumab HYP Treatment in RRMS: Results of the SELECT Trial – Platform S31.004

ADVANCE Phase 3 Study of PEGylated Interferon Beta-1a for Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis: Patient Baseline Characteristics – Poster P01.133
PEGylated Interferon Beta-1a Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Safety in Subjects with Normal or Impaired Renal Function – Poster P06.165

The EMPOWER Study: Design, Methodology and Baseline Features of the First Phase 3 Clinical Trial of Dexpramipexole for Patients with ALS – Platform S25.004"

I left the last one, EMPOWER in there for you to see they also have a drug for ALS in phase 3 trials and that is so exciting to me to know that perhaps they have found a way to slow this insidious disease as well.  
Hey Lulu,

Thanks for taking the time and giving us all that information on things that will be presented this week!  So much of it is very interesting - I look forward to when we can access the actual presentations and get all the details.

I am definitely interested to see what we may learn about BG-12, and also interested to see what they say about the updated PML risk with Tysabri, now that they have stratified it by risk factors.  I wonder if it will be any different from the last FDA release about that?

Thank you for all the work you do to keep on top of things and keep us informed here!  Talk to ya soon...
ha ha

I know a crappy neuro who will probably be there (giggle)
LOL!  My neuro is originally from Louisiana, and I'm sure he's there whooping it up with the others.  I'll have to pick his brain, next time I see him.

Thanks for the info, Lulu!
What a great picture!  I truly cannot picture my neurologist partying in Louisiana.  I will ask him if he did though.  

Will they make this information available to the public?

Tammy, in one form or another they do release all this info.  Usually they don't give the results of their studies until after the presentations at these big conferences - they save the details for the big presentations/announcements there .

I am not sure how AAN releases the abstracts and poster presentations - the ones from the big European conference last fall are now online.  I'll post more once I find out.  IT may be we have to wait to see the studies actually published.
This is an absolutely wonderful update on alemtuzumab - this is the drug you would get an infusion 5 days in a row and then a year later come back for three treatments and you wouldn't need to get another treatment for several years.  

check it out at:
I'm sorry that I'm not as knowledgeable as most, but what is BG-12?  I've heard of it before but I have no idea what it is.

BG-12 is an oral drug for MS that has a significantly better efficacy rate than the drugs we have now. It has been submitted to the FDA for approval and it may be on the market early next year.  BG12 is the name the company has given to it until it is approved and they unveil the name they will use in marketing this
Hi Lulu,
We are all so lucky to have you :) I really appreciate all the info you are sharing with us. I am eapecially interested I learning more about Alemtuzumab.
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