Bruce Cree, MD, PhD, MAS: Exploring Clinical Utility of Siponimod, Fingolimod in MS


The clinical research director of the UCSF Multiple Sclerosis Center discusses recent data on siponimod and its impact on cognitive measures in patients with secondary progressive MS, as well as results of the 3-arm ASSESS study comparing low-dose fingolimod and glatiramer acetate.

“I think that when we do see a true low-cost generic treatment become available for multiple sclerosis that is highly effective, it will result in some changes in the MS landscape for sure.”

Recent study results suggest that treatment with siponimod (Mayzent; Novartis) holds significant cognitive benefits for patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). Findings from the study were presented at the 2019 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting, May 4-10, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, study author Bruce Cree, MD, PhD, MAS, clinical research director at the University of California, San Francisco Multiple Sclerosis Center, detailed the significance of the findings, commenting that the newly-approved drug can have a significant impact on not only measures of disease, but one of its key symptoms.

Cree was also the author of another study presented at the meeting, which compared 2 low-doses of fingolimod (Gilenya; Novartis) to glatiramer acetate (Copaxone; Teva). Not only did Cree and colleagues find that both doses of fingolimod were clinically effective, but they also demonstrated for the first time superiority of low-dose fingolimod over a standard dose of glatiramer acetate.

For more coverage of AAN 2019, click here.


1. Benedict R, Fox R, Tomic D, et al. Effect of siponimod on cognition in patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS): phase 3 EXPAND study subgroup analysis (P3.2-051). Neurology. 2019;92 (15 Supplement) P3.2-051.

2. Cree B, Goldman M, Corboy J, et al. Efficacy and safety of fingolimod 0.5 mg and 0.25 mg versus glatiramer acetate 20 mg in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis — ASSESS study group (S56.009). Neurology. 2019;92 (15 Supplement) S56.009.

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