Option Care Enterprises will become a national provider of home infusion services for Radicava (edaravone), the first treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that the United States has approved in more than 20 years.
Bannockburn, Illinois-based Option Care will provide the services under an agreement with Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America, which developed the intravenous therapy. Radicava, which slows the decline of ALS patients’ physical functioning, is marketed in the United States by MT Pharma America.
Radicava targets free radicals, which are produced when cells generate energy. The body generally removes free radicals quickly. When it is unable to eliminate them due to some kind of malfunction, they can cause oxidative stress, leading to cell damage and death.
Oxidative stress stemming from free radicals is believed to be one of the main causes of nerve cell death in ALS. Radicava protects nerve cells by removing free radicals from the nervous system. This helps slow the progression of ALS.
Radicava is administered through intravenous injection in 28-day cycles. Treatment usually starts with a patient receiving the therapy for 14 consecutive days, followed by a two-week therapy-free period.
The next cycle begins with an infusion during 10 of the next 14 days, followed by another two-week treatment-free period.
Each dose administration takes 60 minutes. A dose must not exceed 60 mg per treatment session.
Treatment can be given at an ALS center, a physician’s office, a free-standing infusion center, a hospital outpatient department, or through a home infusion provider, depending on the patient’s care plan and condition. Option Care will offer home treatments.
Searchlight is a Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma America initiative to facilitate access to Radicava. A Searchlight care coordinator can help healthcare providers identify an infusion service near a patient and help patients assess their co-pay support options.
“We are committed to making sure people with ALS who are prescribed Radicava have multiple ways to access their treatment,” Tom Larson, the company’s chief commercial officer, said in a press release. “Option Care maintains a strong national network that will be able to facilitate home infusion services at locations all across the country, which will help provide broad access to Radicava for patients who choose home infusion therapy as their site of care.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Radicava on May 5, 2017, for adults with ALS.
In clinical trials leading to the approval, Radicava was shown to slow the loss of physical function in ALS patients by 33 percent, compared with a placebo.
Japan and South Korea approved edaravone — the active compound in Radicava — as an ALS treatment in 2015.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says between 12,000 and 15,000 Americans are living with ALS.
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