David Leppert, MD: Building a Foundation for Neurofilament Light

March 22, 2019

The therapeutic head of neuroinflammation and pain at Novartis spoke about his desire to work to a point where physicians can use NfL to monitor disease activity, make therapeutic decisions, and give perspective to patients.

“We have very few biomarkers that we can use in MS and neurofilament is really the exception in that there is, really, a light at the end of the tunnel to bring something that clinicians may, in mid-term, use individually.”

Multiple sclerosis (MS), while not plagued by a lack of treatments, is suffering from a lack of biomarkers of treatment effect on the disease. In the last several years, neurofilament light (NfL) chain, which is reflective of axonal damage in the central nervous system, has grown in popularity.

Although, while NfL has provided hope for the future in the realm of biomarkers, it is still not perfected. At the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in MS (ACTRIMS) Forum in Dallas, Texas, the therapeutic head of neuroinflammation and pain at Novartis, in Basel, Switzerland, David Leppert, MD, sat with NeurologyLive® to discuss his desire to temper the expectations for the biomarker while continuing to be optimistic.

Additionally, he spoke about the need to build a foundation in research to support the use of NfL to allow for physicians to use it to monitor disease activity, make therapeutic decisions, and to give perspective to patients.