Copaxone® (glatiramer acetate)
- Parent company: Teva Neuroscience, Inc.
- Given through daily subcutaneous injections; dosage is 20 mg.
- Approved for RRMS.
- It has been shown to significantly reduce the annual relapse rate in relapsing-remitting
- Copaxone is a synthetic protein that mimics myelin basic protein, a key component of the myelin sheath that is damaged in MS; it appears to block immune system T cells that damage myelin by acting essentially as a decoy. Copaxone also increases anti-inflammatory lymphocytes and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), with potential neuroprotective effects.
- A pilot study with daily double-dose Copaxone versus single-dose Copaxone suggested it reduced relapses and lesions as seen on MRI. However, the company recently announced that a second study did not confirm a difference.
- The 36-month PreCISe study has shown a successful delay in the conversion of clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) to clinically definite MS (CDMS).
- RRMS patients receiving long-term Copaxone treatment showed more life satisfaction, better health, and greater satisfaction with therapy than untreated individuals or those receiving only short-term treatment with Copaxone or
- Combination and Comparative studies:
The COMBI Rx trial will compare the combination of Avonex plus Copaxone to Copaxone alone and Avonex alone.
- Another study looks at Copaxone combined with oral minocycline; the combination reduced the number of new and active lesions; also reported to be safe and well tolerated.
- A currently recruiting trial is studying the effect of combining Copaxone and estriol in RRMS
on relapse rate. A pilot study using the same combination had encouraging results.
- An ongoing study of prednisone in 500 relapsing MS patients treated with Copaxone will measure changes in brain volume after three years as its primary outcome.