Daclizumab (Zinbryta) has been approved as a patient-injected, once-monthly treatment for adults with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Daclizumab has serious safety risks, including severe and potentially life-threatening liver injury and immune disorders, and should generally be used only when patients have an inadequate response to two or more MS drugs, the FDA said in a press release. The drug has a boxed warning and is available only through a restricted distribution program under a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy.

Liver function tests should be performed before starting daclizumab, and liver function should be monitored monthly before each dose, and for up to 6 months after the last dose. Immune disorders associated with use of daclizumab include noninfectious colitis, skin reactions, and lymphadenopathy. Other highlighted warnings include anaphylaxis and angioedema, increased risk of infections, and symptoms of depression and suicidal ideation.

Daclizumab was associated with a reduction in clinical relapses in a comparator trial of 1,841 participants who received either daclizumab or interferon beta-1a (Avonex) and were studied for 144 weeks. Fewer relapses also were seen with daclizumab than with placebo in a second 52-week study of 412 participants.

The most common adverse reactions reported by patients receiving daclizumab in the comparator trial included nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, rash, influenza, dermatitis, oropharyngeal pain, eczema, and enlargement of lymph nodes. The most common adverse reactions reported in the placebo trial were depression, rash, and increased levels of alanine aminotransferase.

Daclizumab will be marketed as Zinbryta by Biogen.

Read the FDA’s full statement on the FDA website.

acruz@frontlinemedcom.com

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