Essential Resources on Health and Wellness from DiaMedica Publications

The Remarkable Story of Copaxone®

An Approach to the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
Kenneth P. Johnson, M.D.

Publication Date: July 2010
Price: $14.95
ISBN 13: 978-0-9823219-4-2
Trade Paperback: 224 pages
Size: 6 x 9

A cloth edition is also available for $24.95
(ISBN 13: 978-0-9823219-5-9)


Desperate patients, international geopolitics, pharmaceutical competition, governmental secrecy, a race against time—sounds like the stuff of a best-selling novel. But, no. It is The Remarkable Story of Copaxone®. In this book, Dr. Kenneth P. Johnson, a highly respected scientist and world-renowned expert on multiple sclerosis, recounts the fascinating tale of the development and rise to prominence of the drug Copaxone®, one of the first agents to significantly impact the course of multiple sclerosis, an often devastating disease of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves.— From the Foreword by Aaron Miller, M.D.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is the most common crippling neurologic disease of young adults. Its course is unpredictable; people with the disease never know when new symptoms may appear or if improvement will follow. Virtually every therapy for any human disease had been considered and tried, without finding a useful treatment. This understandably led to despair for people with MS and to frustration and disappointment for clinicians.

The development of Copaxone® is among the most unique of modern drug discoveries. Not only is it the enduring legacy of brilliant and determined scientists working over decades, it is also the story of The Weizmann Institute of Science and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., two organizations that grew and prospered in spite of a most chaotic and dangerous environment during the early years of the State of Israel. Courage, focus, and dedication to high ideals, as well as excellent science, are the essence of this story.


PART I: Multiple Sclerosis: The Disease
1. What Is Multiple Sclerosis?
2. Multiple Sclerosis Heroes: Two Participants in Clinical Trials
3. The Central Nervous System
4. The Search for a Multiple Sclerosis Model

PART II: The Weizmann Institute of Science
5. The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
6. Understanding Protein Structure and Function .
7. Scientific Serendipity I
8. The 180-Degree Turn
9. Is It Effective, and Is It Safe?
10. Expanding Human Exposure
11. The Bornstein Trials
12. Could Cop 1 Be a Successful Drug?

PART III: Teva Pharmaceuticals
13. Teva
14. The U.S. Pivotal Trial
15. From Anxiety to Euphoria
16. The Competition: Beta-Interferon
17. Challenges to Copaxone’s Position as a First-line Multiple Sclerosis Treatment
18. Battles in the Marketplace
19. Unraveling the Mysteries of Copaxone
20. Becoming Number One
21. Multiple Sclerosis Heroes Revisited
22. Postscript


Kenneth P. Johnson, M.D., has been involved in the development of new treatments for benefiting multiple sclerosis (MS) for the past 25 years. He is an academic neurologist with special expertise in viral and immunologic disorders of the nervous system and has authored or co-authored over 175 scientific articles in leading worldwide medical journals. He was Chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, and is currently Professor Emeritus.

Dr. Johnson founded the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS), a leading North American organization for advancing MS science and patient care. In 2000, he was awarded the Dystel Prize by the National MS Society and the American Academy of Neurology for his pioneering work on developing new treatments for MS.

Praise for The Remarkable Story of Copaxone®…

The Remarkable Story of Copaxone® is an intriguing story of drug research and its importance.” — Midwest Book Review

The Remarkable Story of Copaxone®: An Approach to the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis chronicles the long and often unpredictable road from the first idea that the research drug termed COP 1 could be an MS treatment to the day it was approved for clinical use.”— PN

This book is informative, technical, and at times historical. Set against the backdrop of the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the political events in Israel, it follows the trial and tribulations of MS-dedicated scientists from the first “eureka” moment to the cutthroat competitive world of investors and drug companies. Apart from being the story of copaxone I found it informative about MS in greater depth of detail than other books I have read.

At times the book is tedious with all the facts and figures relating to the various trials ongoing at the time, more suited to a professional/clinician than a lay person, but that aside I now have a greater appreciation of what new therapies/treatments trials entail, and the dedication of the few specialists scientists in trying to figure out either a cause or cure for MS.

My final thought is that with such great minds on the case perhaps one day a miracle oral version of the therapies may be forthcoming.” — Member, MS Society of Scotland in making sense of ms in scotland