Tysabri may have scored a big plus for drugmakers Biogen Idec and Elan. A trial of the multiple sclerosis treatment showed that it might actually improve the physical disability patients suffer, rather than simply slowing down or staving off decline. "Tysabri-treated patients are significantly more likely to experience a sustained improvement in disability compared to placebo patients," said Frederick Munschauer a neurologist from the State University of New York, adding that, "This [post hoc] analysis represents the first evidence supporting a sustained improvement in function" from an approved MS drug.
That's good news for Biogen and Elan, offering even greater benefit to outweight the risk of a very rare but potentially deadly brain infection that, when it first appeared in Tysabri patients, forced the medication off the U.S. market. Tysabri has since been reintroduced under a risk-management program and continues its comeback story, despite the recent announcement that the infection, primary multifocal leucoencephalopathy, had cropped up again in two patients in Europe.