Patricia K. Coyle, MD: The Me-Too Drugs in the MS Pipeline

April 1, 2020

The director of the MS Comprehensive Care Center and interim chair of the department of neurology at Stony Brook University discussed the need for more originality in the MS pipeline.

“They’re not bringing efficacy to the table. They’re bringing convenience, they’re bringing, maybe, a little bit of a switch in the adverse event profile…but when you’re a me-too drug, you’re not going to bring too much new to the table.”

The treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) has advanced rapidly since the 1990s, supplied by a consistent influx of new therapeutics over the years. However, as the shift in treatment approaches have begun to develop in response to these new therapeutics, now, some might suggest that therapeutic innovation has become relatively stagnant.

In a conversation with NeurologyLive, Patricia K. Coyle, MD, professor and interim chair, department of neurology, and director, MS Comprehensive Care Center, Stony Brook University, noted that one thing, in particular, strikes her about the state of the MS pipeline: the amount of me-too drugs. She specifically pointed to the need for new mechanisms of action to be identified and for the focus to shift to central nervous system repair.

Coyle discussed what these me-too drugs do bring to the table and why they are limiting, as well as what current research in progressive MS has suggested thus far and what available data has taught the community about the disease.