The Role of Biomarkers in Myasthenia Gravis Diagnosis and Treatment: Hong Sun, MD, PhD


The senior director and global compound development team leader at Janssen talked about the importance of biomarkers in detecting an earlier diagnosis of myasthenia gravis and the significant unmet medical need for better treatment options. [WATCH TIME: 3 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 3 minutes 

“Biomarkers could help to confirm diagnosis earlier and initiate treatment sooner, which is beneficial to patients with MG, but there's still a lot of work that needs to be done in the field. The other important area of biomarker research is to identify biomarkers that can potentially monitor and predict disease progression and the therapeutic benefit. It's exciting time for the MG field now between emerging new treatment to the market, and greater awareness of the disease, which is very encouraging as we continue to make progress.”

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease where neuromuscular signaling is disrupted by autoantibodies that target muscle receptors. This then causes symptoms such as limb weakness, double vision, and difficulty with various muscle-related functions. While some currently available therapies help to manage these symptoms, researchers have recommend that further study is needed to develop more effective treatments for nonresponsive or intolerant MG.1

Recently, the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson presented 20 company-sponsored presentations from its investigational therapy for MG, nipocalimab, and autoantibody diseases research program, at the 2023 American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) meeting, held November 1-4, in Phoenix, Arizona.2 In a statement, the company noted that the data highlights the potential of nipocalimab in reducing the burden associated with autoantibody-driven diseases like MG, and also helping to address the unmet need in therapeutics that still exists despite the current treatments.

Prior to the meeting, Hong Sun, MD, PhD, senior director, global compound development team leader, Janssen, sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® to discuss how biomarkers can assist in the early diagnosis and treatment initiation for patients with MG. She talked about the limitations of the conventional treatments for MG, and why there is a need for better therapeutic options. In addition, Sun spoke about the significance of identifying biomarkers for monitoring disease progression and therapeutic benefits in the field of MG.

Click here for more coverage on AANEM 2023.

1. Chen J, Tian DC, Zhang C, et al. Incidence, mortality, and economic burden of myasthenia gravis in China: A nationwide population-based study. Lancet Reg Health West Pac. 2020;5:100063. Published 2020 Nov 27. doi:10.1016/j.lanwpc.2020.100063
2. Janssen to Highlight Latest Research from Nipocalimab Clinical Development Program to Address Unmet Need in Myasthenia Gravis at AANEM 2023 Meeting. News Release. Published October 16, 2023. Accessed October 31, 2023.
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