A drug developed by biotech giant Eli Lilly and Co. that has shown promise as a painkiller for multiple sclerosis patients is poised to move from a category called anesthetic-based to a category known as neurotherapeutics, a move that could make it cheaper to treat and prevent some of the side effects of other medications.
The move would give the company an advantage over its peers in the field of neuroprosthetics, which have shown promise in treating some conditions, including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
“It’s a pretty exciting time for drug development,” said Eli Lilly spokeswoman Anne-Marie Cianciotti.
“We’re excited about the potential for this new class of neurotherapies.”
The classification will change the way the drug is classified and what it can be used for, making it easier to treat the side effect of the drug in a more precise way, and making it more affordable to patients and physicians.
But there’s also a big risk.
“I think this is a bad idea,” said Dr. Robert W. Gaviria, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
“These new classes are going to make the existing treatments less effective, and that’s really going to hurt the overall population of patients.”
For example, the new class may be less effective at treating patients with a severe form of multiple sclerosis, which can cause paralysis, and more effective at preventing seizures, which cause milder and shorter-lasting pain.
Giviria said he worries that the new classification will be too broad to prevent some patients from taking other medications or avoid the side benefits of other treatments.
“The big concern is that the classification will not differentiate between drugs that have potential for medical benefits, and those that don’t,” he said.
The classification of drugs as neuroprosts will be the first step toward a broader system for classification of new and emerging drugs, including those for pain and other conditions.
Eli Lilly officials are optimistic that the change will come after a year of research.
The company has already developed a small batch of its drugs that treat chronic pain.
The drug, an experimental version of an anticonvulsant called diazepam, has been tested in a clinical trial in adults with chronic pain and no other symptoms.
Eli has been working with the FDA and other agencies to approve a second drug, a more potent version of diazepamp, that could treat some of MS patients’ symptoms.
The FDA approved the drug, diazepac, in May, and its approval marks the company’s first approval of a new drug under the new category.
Eli hopes to test diazepamps on adults who have not responded to previous treatments.
The other drugs, which are also experimental, have shown promising results in the trials.
“There’s lots of excitement around the idea of moving to the new neurotherapy class,” Eli Lilly CEO and president of global drug development Rakesh Kothari said in a conference call with analysts.
The new classification could allow Eli Lilly to sell the drug to more patients in a cheaper way than currently available options, he said, and make the drug more accessible to those with MS.
“This is a very exciting time to be in the world of neuroprotective drugs,” he added.
But Eli Lilly said it will not be able to sell these drugs to the U.S. market, since the U to US import ban still applies.
The current drug for MS has been approved for sale in Europe and Japan.
But the drug has yet to be approved in the United States, according to the FDA.
Eli and Lilly did not respond to requests for comment.
The drugs are being tested on a subset of the MS population, which is made up of people who have had multiple sclerosis for more than a decade, or those with symptoms that may have worsened with age, including fatigue, depression, and pain.
A subset of people with MS is considered the “high-risk population” because of their genetic predisposition to MS, which the FDA says is the reason it only allows a limited number of new drugs to enter the market.
The agency also says that people with high risk groups should be screened for any other health conditions.
The U.K.-based pharmaceutical company said it has submitted preliminary data showing that its drug is more effective in the high-risk group than other drugs.
But it has not yet submitted its data for approval in the U, a step that will be required for a new version of the therapy to be sold in the country.
The first drug in the class that is approved for U.N. use is called Zovirax, which was developed by Eli Lilly.
The pharmaceutical company has yet a preliminary data on its next-generation drug, called Zoloft, which it is working on.
It has been on trial for several years and is the most widely used drug