Current State of Care in NMOSD With FDA-Approved Medications for Preventing Relapse: Michael Levy, MD, PhD


The associate professor at Harvard Medical School talked about the currently approved therapies and the state of care for patients with NMOSD from a clinician perspective. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

“Now that we have these proven drugs that prevent future attacks, we're now retraining our focus to what is causing the disease and stopping the immune system from targeting the aquaporin-4 water channel far upstream.”

Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD) is a rare autoimmune disorder where a pathogenesis that includes anti-aquaporin-4 (AQP-4) immunoglobulin G (IgG) contributes to the diagnosis. The disease often presents as disability with severe sensory impairment, in combination with sleep disorders, which may impact a patient’s quality of life directly.

As of now, there are 3 FDA approved therapies for the treatment of AQP4+ NMOSD. These therapies include eculizumab (Soliris; Alexion), inebilizumab (Uplizna; Horizon Therapeutics), and satralizumab (Enspryng; Genentech). Eculizumab, a complement inhibitor, was the first approved treatment for NMOSD in June 2019. Following that, inebilizumab, an anti-CD19 agent, received approval in June 2020, and then satralizumab, an anti-interleukin-6 receptor, was approved later that year.

Recently, Michael Levy, MD, PhD, sat down with NeurologyLive® in an interview to talk about the most important aspect of care for patients with NMOSD. Levy, associate professor at Harvard Medical School, spoke on the current FDA approved treatments for NMOSD and potential therapeutics currently in the pipeline. Although the approved therapies are safe and effective, he discussed the lingering challenges in research and treatment optimization with patients. Notably, Levy expressed what he is looking forward to in the coming months regarding researching and clinical care in NMOSD.

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