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Pharmacotherapy for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: A Review of Approved and Upcoming Agents

Drugs. 2022 Sep 19. doi: 10.1007/s40265-022-01769-1. Online ahead of print.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disorder involving loss of upper and lower motor neurons, with most cases ending in death within 3-5 years of onset. Several molecular and cellular pathways have been identified to cause ALS; however, treatments to stop or reverse disease progression are yet to be found. Riluzole, a neuroprotective agent offering only a modest survival benefit, has long been the sole disease-modifying therapy for ALS. Edaravone, which demonstrated statistically significant slowing of ALS disease progression, is gaining approval in an increasing number of countries since its first approval in 2015. Sodium phenylbutyrate and taurursodiol (PB-TURSO) was conditionally approved in Canada in 2022, having shown significant slowing of disease progression and prolonged survival. Most clinical trials have focused on testing small molecules affecting common cellular pathways in ALS: targeting glutamatergic, apoptotic, inflammatory, and oxidative stress mechanisms among others. More recently, clinical trials utilizing stem cell transplantation and other biologics have emerged. This rich and ever-growing pipeline of investigational products, along with innovative clinical trial designs, collaborative trial networks, and an engaged ALS community’, provide renewed hope to finding a cure for ALS. This article reviews existing ALS therapies and the current clinical drug development pipeline.

PMID:36121612 | DOI:10.1007/s40265-022-01769-1

By Nevin Manimala

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