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Study Says Ampyra Aided Walking in PPMS and RMS Patients

April 11, 2017

Ampyra (dalfampridine) shows long-term efficacy in improving walking ability in people with multiple sclerosis, according to a study evaluating the treatment’s use in progressive and relapsing MS patients over two years.

The study, “Monitoring long-term efficacy of fampridine in gait-impaired patients with multiple sclerosis,” was published in the journal Neurology. Ampyra is currently the only drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to improve walking in adults with MS, a function severely impaired in about 75 percent of these patients.

Of 55 patients who completed FAMPKIN, 53 enrolled in the two-year Ampyra extension trial. Investigators used several functional tests, including the Timed 25-Foot Walk (T25FW), 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT), and 12-item MS Walking Scale (MSWS-12) to determine patient outcomes.

Results confirmed the good tolerability of prolonged-release Ampyra in as a long-term MS treatment, and a positive impact on walking speed and endurance.

“[W]e found a significant correlation between functional improvements in the clinical gait tests … and the self-perceived walking ability,” Dr. Linard Filli, the published study’s lead author and a researcher with the FAMPKIN trial, said in an interview with Multiple Sclerosis News Today.

MS manifests in different forms, and the trial included patients with relapsing-remitting, primary progressive, and secondary progressive MS. In the interview, Multiple Sclerosis News Today asked Dr. Filli if his team saw differences in patient outcomes and response to Ampyra according to MS type, and whether particular subgroups seemed to benefit most.

“We did not find a valid correlation between patient’s responsiveness and their specific type of MS in our study. We found both well responding patients and non-responders in each of the different MS subtypes,” Filli said. “Importantly, the results of our study and previous trials demonstrate that Ampyra also exerts significant positive effects in patients with chronic progressive MS, where alternative treatment options to improve walking function are virtually absent.

“We are currently screening for demographic and clinical factors that might be used as predictors of patients’ (short- and long-term) responsiveness to Ampyra,” he said.