Novartis has announced that Mayzent (siponimod) may preserve mobility and brain volume in patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS).

The post hoc data analysis showed that the drug could delay median time to EDSS seven - the point at which wheelchair-dependence is reached - by an average of 4.3 years in patients.

The results mean that the average time to when patients require a wheelchair could be extended from 12 years to 16.3 years.

The data, presented at the 2019 Congress of The European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, also show that the treatment significantly reduced the loss of cortical grey matter and thalamic volume at one and two years, demonstrating the potential value of Mayzent as a treatment for the debilitating disorder.

“Our purpose at Novartis is to deliver treatments that can make a real difference to people’s lives.These latest data support siponimod’s place as an effective therapy for  some of the estimated 38,000 people in the UK living with SPMS,” said Dr Mark Toms, chief scientific officer, Novartis UK.

“There are currently no licensed oral disease modifying SPMS therapies available, and so we are working very closely with the regulatory bodies with the aim of making siponimod available in the UK as quickly as possible.”

There are more than 100,000 people living with MS in the UK, of which approximately 85% are considered to have RRMS at their point of diagnosis. SPMS leads to progressive, irreversible disability, and once diagnosed, management options available to patients are limited.