A Cambridge University drugs trial has brought hope to thousands of sufferers of the debilitating illness Multiple Sclerosis.
Neurology researchers say tests of a cancer drug, which essentially reboots patients immune systems, has proven to be extremely effective in the treatment of MS. They say MS patients on the trial have noted marked improvements in their condition.
But now there are fears that the drug will go up in price and no longer be available to patients who have started using it because the firm behind the medicine has withdrawn it until it's licensed.
– Dr Alasdair Coles, University of Cambridge
We entirely understand that the company will want to recoup some of its costs. My main concern as a neurologist treating people with MS is that the price is not so high that it will become unavailable."
The drugs company Genzyme say they don't want to risk treating patients until the drug's licensed in case any adverse events delay it going on the market. They also say the drugs will be value for money.
– Prof Ganesan, University of East Anglia
All drugs are expensive because it takes more than ten years to bring a drug to market and the overall process costs more than one billion U.S. dollars
Despite disappointment at the drugs withdrawal, scientists say today still marks a big turning point in the treatment of a devastating disease.