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AUBAGIO® (teriflunomide) is a prescription medicine used to treat relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS).

The Science Behind AUBAGIO

The proposed mechanism of action of AUBAGIO is based on preclinical laboratory and animal model data.1 The exact mechanism by which AUBAGIO exerts its therapeutic effect in multiple sclerosis (MS) is not fully understood.2

Research supports that AUBAGIO inhibits the proliferation of stimulated T and B lymphocytes in the periphery, limiting overactivation of immune responses that can contribute to MS disease activity1-3

  • AUBAGIO has been demonstrated to selectively and reversibly inhibit dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) required by rapidly dividing cells1-4
  • Results from preclinical laboratory and animal model studies suggest that by blocking the de novo pyrimidine synthesis pathway, AUBAGIO exerts a cytostatic effect on stimulated proliferating T and B cells in the periphery1,2,5
  • Through this effect, AUBAGIO is thought to target cellular functions associated with overreactive immune responses and, therefore, has the potential to reduce the number of activated T and B cells available to migrate into the central nervous system (CNS)1,2,4
  • Since the pyrimidine salvage pathway is unaffected by AUBAGIO, basic homeostatic cell functions of resting and slowly-dividing lymphocytes appear to be preserved1,2,5


1 - Gold R, Wolinsky JS. Pathophysiology of multiple sclerosis and the place of teriflunomide. Acta Neurol Scand. 2011;124(2):75-84.
2 -Kieseier B, Kaplan J, Wiendl H. A proposed mechanism of action for teriflunomide in multiple sclerosis. Presented at European Charcot Foundation Symposium, 2012.
3 - Cherwinski HM, McCarley D, Schatzman R, Devens B, Ransom JT. The immunosuppressant leflunomide inhibits lymphocyte progression through cell cycle by a novel mechanism. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 1995;272:460-468.
4 - AUBAGIO (teriflunomide) [package insert]. Cambridge, MA: Genzyme Corporation; September 2012.
5 - Rückemann K, Fairbanks LD, Carrey EA, et al. Leflunomide inhibits pyrimidine de novo synthesis in mitogen-stimulated T-lymphocytes from healthy humans. J Biol Chem. 1998;273:21682-21691.

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