Who We Are

The New Jersey Life Sciences Vendors Alliance (NJLSVA) is a coalition of businesses, individuals and academia who provide goods and services to New Jersey’s life sciences companies.

The NJLSVA was founded to educate suppliers on trends in industry procurement and public policy that affects the life sciences industry.

FDA Approves a Second Drug Is Approved to Treat Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Washington, DC, May 8, 2017The New York Times reports that a new drug for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, was approved on May 5 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The drug, called Radicava or edaravone, slowed the progression of the degenerative disease in a six-month study in Japan.

It must be given by intravenous infusion and will cost $145,524 a year, according to its manufacturer, MT Pharma America, a subsidiary of the Japanese company Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation.

Radicava is only the second drug ever approved to treat A.L.S.

The first, riluzole, was approved by the FDA more than 20 years ago.  Riluzole can increase survival by two or three months. There is no information yet about whether Radicava has any effect on survival.

In the study in Japan, 137 patients were picked at random to receive either Radicava or a placebo. At the end of six months, the condition of those taking the drug declined less than those receiving placebos.

The disease kills nerve cells that control voluntary muscles, so patients gradually weaken and become paralyzed. Most die within three to five years, usually from respiratory failure.

About 12,000 to 15,000 people in the United States have A.L.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.