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The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson announced that the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) has approved Ponvory (ponesimod) for treating adults with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) within NHS Scotland.

Ponesimod offers an additional treatment choice for the ailment, which affects over 15,000 people in Scotland.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease of the central nervous system in which immune cells attack myelin, causing inflammation.

The common symptoms of this disease include fatigue, balance and walking problems, numbness or tingling, dizziness and vertigo.

Amanda Cunnington, director of Health Economics, Market Access, Reimbursement, Government Affairs & Patient Engagement, Janssen-Cilag Limited said: “This decision further supports our commitment to ensuring patients living with this condition have access to new treatment options to help address some of the life-long and life-limiting symptoms of MS.

“We will work closely with the SMC and NHS Scotland to ensure that ponesimod will be available for eligible patients as quickly as possible.”

The SMC’s advice is based on data from the Phase III OPTIMUM trial, a multicenter, randomised, double-blind, parallel-group, active-controlled superiority study of 1,133 patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (RMS) aged 18-55 years, in 28 countries.

The trial aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the once-daily oral treatment of ponesimod (20 mg) against the once-daily teriflunomide (14 mg), an approved and established first-line oral treatment.

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