Novel Treatments in Myasthenia Gravis

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Myasthenia gravis (MG) is the prototypical autoimmune disorder caused by specific autoantibodies at the neuromuscular junction. Broad-based immunotherapies, such as corticosteroids, azathioprine, mycophenolate, tacrolimus, and cyclosporine, have been effective in controlling symptoms of myasthenia. While being effective in a majority of MG patients many of these immunosuppressive agents are associated with long-term side effects, often intolerable for patients, and take several months to be effective. With advances in translational research and drug development capabilities, more directed therapeutic agents that can alter the future of MG treatment have been developed. This review focuses on the aberrant immunological processes in MG, the novel agents that target them along with the clinical evidence for efficacy and safety. These agents include terminal complement C5 inhibitors, Fc receptor inhibitors, B cell depleting agents (anti CD 19 and 20 and B cell activating factor [BAFF)]inhibitors), proteosome inhibitors, T cells and cytokine based therapies (chimeric antigen receptor T [CART-T] cell therapy), autologous stem cell transplantation, and subcutaneous immunoglobulin (SCIG). Most of these new agents have advantages over conventional immunosuppressive treatment (IST) for MG therapy in terms of faster onset of action, favourable side effect profile and the potential for a sustained and long-term remission.

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