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Alemtuzumab is an engineered monoclonal antibody directed against CD52 - a leucocyte surface antigen. Administration effectively destroys leucocyte causing partial immunosuppression, an effect that is exploited in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, transplant rejection and certain types of haematological malignancies such as B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (B-CLL). In the EU in late 2012 its earlier licenses and trademarks were surrendered in advance of a hoped for license in relapsing multiple sclerosis which left it technically unlicensed until September 2013. This situation continues in the USA because of issues around trial blinding which has caused controversy.


  • Given immediately after solid organ transplantation, it may attenuate host rejection, allowing less toxic combinations of maintenence immunosuppressants.
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) who have failed to achieve a complete or partial response to alkylating agents and or achieved only a short remission (less than 6 months) following fludarabine phosphate therapy. Recently extended to monotherapy.
  • Multiple sclerosis


In the lymphoma indication, the death rate due to therapy related complications is about 12%[3]

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