SPAIN is getting its first doses of an American drug to help people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, which accounts for 80% of MS sufferers.

Zeposia was approved by the European Medicines Agency(EMA) in 2020 following clinical studies in 20 countries, including 66 patients in Spain where around 47,000 people suffer with MS.

The drug is now available as a prescription medication.

Zeposia, manufactured by Bristol Myers Squibb(BMS) contains the active ingredient ozanimod and is taken daily in capsule form.

Ozanimod is not a cure for MS but clinical studies show that it helps by preventing immune system cells from attacking nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

It also helps to reduce the number of episodes where the disease worsens- known as relapses- and possibly delay or even prevent disability.

Ozanimod is already used to treat the bowel disease known as ulcerative colitis.

BMS General Director for Spain and Portugal, Roberto Urbez, said: “We have spent more than two decades researching solutions that respond to the unmet needs of patients with immune-mediated diseases.”

“We are proud to make available a new therapeutic option that provides high efficacy, is safe and is oral,” he added.

MS is known as the disease with a ‘thousand faces’ because it manifests itself differently in each person as the immune system attacks nerve coverings, causing lesions that hinder transmission of signals between neurons.

This interruption between the brain and the rest of the body can cause different symptoms and relapses in the disease.

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