FDA approves first oral drug to slow multiple sclerosis progression

The Food and Drug Administration has given a green signal to a pill-based alternative to a firm's injectable multiple sclerosis drug.

FDA pronounced that the release of Novartis' drug Gilenya, comes as the first oral therapy to cure the patients who are suffering from multiple sclerosis, a debilitating nervous system disorder. Previous cure featured Biogen's Tysabri, that asked for frequent injection or infusion of the drug.

Further the share market of Cambridge, Mass.-based Biogen slipped $3.37, or 5.8 percent, to $54.86 on basis of the fact that doctors would switch patients from Tysabri to the newer Gilenya.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Jason Kantor said that 75 percent of neurologists surveyed by the firm shall make use of Gilenya first in a patient considering Tysabri.

Analysts have pumped in stating the fact that Novartis' drug comes with cautionary benefits, also of no boxed warning or requirements for frequent checkups on its label.

Thomas Wei, an analyst with Jefferies & Co. posted: "The label will likely be perceived by investors as better than expected and a competitive advantage with oral convenience."

Wei added that the sales will remain unaffected and shall feature with a "buy" rating on the company stock.

The company in answer to the same stated: "The long-term safety profile of Gilenya has yet to be established and there is limited data for it in patients with certain common comorbidities."

Biogen has quoted a $770 million in revenue with Tysabri in 2009. The drug is stated to have an unusual regulatory history linked with a deadly condition termed as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.