Navigation Links
Experimental Drug Fights Multiple Sclerosis Activity
Date:6/20/2008

It led to a reduction of lesions seen on MRIs with limited side effects, study found

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- One of the first pills to treat the "relapse-remitting" form of multiple sclerosis has been shown to help fight the disease with few side effects.

Although the drug, laquinimod, is still experimental, having a pill available would make therapy much more convenient for many patients.

"By and large, this doesn't look as strong as the strongest injectable drugs like Tysabri... but, in general, I believe that patients and companies feel that the advantage of having an oral drug makes these attractive additions to our therapeutic armamentarium," said Dr. John Richert, executive vice president for research and clinical programs at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

"Patients are more likely to stay on an oral drug. We'll need to see what comes out of Phase 3 trials [the current trial was a Phase 2 study]. At this point, it's encouraging, and certainly patients are thirsting for oral options," Richert added.

The study, funded by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, is published in the June 21 issue of The Lancet. Earlier results from the same trial were presented this spring at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.

Multiple sclerosis affects the central nervous system and is thought to be an autoimmune disease. It primarily strikes "white matter" -- the tissues in the brain and the other parts of the nervous system that transmit messages between "gray matter," where nerve bodies are found. Symptoms range from the mild (numbness in the limb) to severe, including paralysis and loss of vision. There are four different "courses" of the disease, the most common being relapse-remitting MS, in which flare-ups alternate with partial or complete remissions.

Several treatments are available for MS; all are injectable.

Testing of an earlier, related oral drug called Linomide (roquinimex) was stopped during Phase 3 trials when the compound was linked to a high incidence of heart problems, including heart attacks. The trial lasted long enough, however, to show that the drug had benefit, Richert said.

"That information served as impetus for researchers to go back to the laboratory and try to engineer out the cardiac toxic part of the molecule but maintain the immunomodulatory effects that were beneficial for an autoimmune disease like multiple sclerosis," Richert explained. "That is how laquinimod was born."

Laquinimod works by binding to receptors on immune cells, isolating them in the lymph nodes, thereby reducing their ability to cause the damage associated with MS symptoms.

The nine-country study involved 306 patients aged 18 to 50 who were randomly assigned to receive either a placebo, 0.3 milligrams of laquinimod or 0.6 milligrams of laquinimod daily.

People with the higher dose of laquinimod had a 40.4 percent reduction in the number of lesions -- indicating disease activity -- seen on MRI scans. The lower dose had no significant benefit.

There were two side effects, both of them reversible. Two patients stopped taking the drug because they developed liver problems, the researchers said.

A Phase 3 trial is currently under way, said the study authors, from the Institute of Experimental Neurology at the University Vita-Salute in Milan, Italy.

"Certainly there have been Phase 2 drugs that have looked OK that have failed in Phase 3," Richert said. "There's always a significant amount of guesswork in trying to predict how things are going to end up."

More information

Visit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for more on this disease.



SOURCES: John Richert, M.D., executive vice president for research and clinical programs, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, New York City; June 21, 2008, The Lancet


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Experimental anti-cancer drug made from corn lillies kills brain tumor stem cells
2. Experimental Antidepressants Offer Faster Relief
3. Experimental drug shows promise in advanced kidney cancer
4. Experimental drug boosts survival in recurrent ovarian cancer
5. Experimental cancer pharmaceuticals under trial
6. Experimental Drug Fails Against Heart Failure
7. Experimental Drug Fights Prostate Cancer
8. Experimental technique at GUMC offers real-time analysis of breast cancer biopsies
9. Experimental Vaccine Halts Prostate Cancer in Mice
10. Experimental Biology 2008 Todays Research: Tomorrows Health, April 5-9
11. 52 minority scientists receive travel fellowships to Experimental Biology 2008
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Experimental Drug Fights Multiple Sclerosis Activity
(Date:6/25/2016)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 ... ... will discuss health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June ... share their work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Lewisville, TX (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... in the United States, named Dr. Sesan Ogunleye, as the Medical Director of its ... be the facility Medical Director of our new Mesquite location,” said Dr. James M. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the benefits of ... of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, perhaps even ... progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals that behind ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, ... out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control ... use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited to announce they are ... drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. Comfort Keepers provides quality ... and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments is one of the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... FRANCISCO, Calif. , June 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... ), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for ... unmet needs, today announced the closing of its ... of common stock, at the public offering price ... in the offering were offered by GBT. GBT ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ALEXANDRIA, Va. , June 24, 2016 ... a set of recommendations that would allow ... information (HCEI) with entities that make formulary and coverage ... determine the "value" of new medicines. The ... that does not appear on the drug label, a ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 According ... by Type (Standard Pen Needles, Safety Pen Needles), Needle ... GLP-1, Growth Hormone), Mode of Purchase (Retail, Non-Retail) - ... This report studies the market for the forecast period ... reach USD 2.81 Billion by 2021 from USD 1.65 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: