Ponvory (ponesimod) is an oral S1P1 medication which traps certain causes types of lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell) in lymph nodes and keeps them out of the brain and spinal cord. In the OPTIMUM multicenter, double-blind trial, 1133 relapsing multiple sclerosis patients were randomized to Ponvory or Aubagio oral medication daily. Relapses were 30.5% lower on Ponvory than Augabio. New lesions were reduced by 56% on Ponvory compared to Auabigo. No statistically significant difference was seen on disability progression on the 2 medications.
Risks that were higher on Ponvory than Aubagio in clinical trial included high liver blood tests, nasopharyngitis, upper respiratory infections, respiratory symptoms and increased blood pressure. This class of medications has been associated with rare serious infections including PML and cryptococcal meningitis. In clinical trial, the dose was increased to full dose of 20 mg over 2 weeks to reduce risk of slowing heart rate or irregular heart rate with first dose.