Teglutik is a new liquid formulation of riluzole that can be prescribed to extend life or the time to mechanical ventilation for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Riluzole is the only licensed drug for patients with ALS, 80% of whom are unable to swallow as a result of dysphagia. It was previously only available in tablet form.
"The availability of a new liquid form of riluzole will be of great benefit to everyone involved in the care of patients with ALS," said Dr Katie Sidle, Co-Director MNDA MND Care and Research Centre at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, London. "Many will suffer the distress of having to discontinue treatment due to their inability to swallow the current formulation of riluzole, the only treatment option available to treat ALS."
The new liquid formulation is bioequivalent to riluzole tablets.
Riluzole is thought to act by inhibiting glutamate processes that have a role in cell death of patients with ALS.
NICE recommends that treatment of ALS be initiated by a specialist but supervision can be managed by GPs under shared care agreements.