AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) Expected To Lunch Zinbryta In The US This Month

AbbVie Inc

AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) and Biogen Inc (NASDAQ:BIIB) drug Zinbryta was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a therapy for adults suffering from relapsing forms of Multiple Sclerosis back in May 2016. It was also approved by the European Commission for commercialization in Europe on July 2016. With these approvals, AbbVie is expected to launch the drug in the US market this month, in August 2016.

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AbbVie estimates that around two million people across the world are affected by MS, a chronic disorder of the nervous system that continues to progress unpredictably. It generally affects more females than males and is commonly witnessed by patients aged between 20 and 40 years.

In AbbVie’s research and development, it notes that in MS, the immune system usually attacks the protein called myelin, which forms a protective lipid sheet around neuron fibers. Myelin’s primary purpose is usually to increase the efficiency of communication bewteen neurons using a process called saltatory conduction, and when it is damaged by disorders like MS, neurons cannot communicate effectively leading to the symptoms of the patient to manifest. AbbVie also explains that while initially, patients suffer multiple inflammatory relapses, MS also results in the inflammation of the central nervous system. Though as time passes by, the rate of relapses and the capacity of the nervous system to regenerate decrease, leading to axonal loss and nerve atrophy.

Since Zinbryta is a self-administred injection, it is expected to significnatly reduce the rate of relapse in MS patients. As MS patients usually have to switch to more effective therapies with different profiles after disease relapse, physicians are expected to prescribe drugs that are suitable for every individual’s requirement. Zinbryta is expected to become a key option for MS patients in the US. It will compete with other MS players including Novartis AG (ADR) (NYSE:NVS) and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (NYSE:TEVA).

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