Information for Healthcare Professionals
Natalizumab Injection for Intraveneous Use (marketed as Tysabri)
FDA ALERT [8/2008]: The FDA has recently received information from the manufacturer about two new cases of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) in patients receiving Tysabri monotherapy for multiple sclerosis in Europe. Both patients had received Tysabri for more than one year. PML, which is usually fatal, is a known risk of Tysabri treatment, but previous cases in patients with multiple sclerosis were seen in combination with other immunomodulatory therapies. About 39,000 patients have received treatment with Tysabri worldwide, with about 12,000 patients having been treated for at least one year. No new cases have been seen in the US, where about 7,500 patients have received the drug for longer than one year and about 3,300 patients have received the drug for at least one and a half years.
In the U.S., Tysabri is available only to patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS) or Crohn's disease (CD) who are enrolled in the risk minimization plan called the TOUCH Prescribing Program. Under the TOUCH Prescribing Program, every Tysabri-treated patient is closely monitored and followed for the occurrence of PML and other serious opportunistic infections.
While the two patients who developed PML were on monotherapy, the FDA still believes that Tysabri monotherapy may confer a lower risk of PML than when Tysabri is used together with other immunomodulatory medications.
The FDA is working with the manufacturer to amend the product labeling to inform prescribers and patients that cases of PML have occurred in patients taking Tysabri as monotherapy.