Posted by: Thixia | June 22, 2008

MS Pill Reduced Brain Lesions In Phase II Trial

New Multiple Sclerosis Pill Reduced Brain Lesions In Phase II Trial


Milan, Italy (AHN) –


A new type of pill for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) has led to a 40 percent reduction in lesions and inflammation. The experts are hoping that the oral medication, which goes by the name laquinimod, could potentially be a significant advance, as current drugs are all injectable.


The study, published in the Lancet, was carried out by a team from Milan’s University Vita-Salute on a total of 306 MS patients aged 18 to 50. Out of this, 102 patients were randomly being assigned the inactive placebo pill and 204 one of two doses of laquinimod. Brain scans and health checks were carried out four weeks before the trial started, and then every four weeks for nine months.


Lesions are caused when the immune system attacks the fatty tissue around nerve fibers, breaking the connection between brain and muscle. The researchers measured how many gadolinium enhancing (GdE) lesions the patients had and found out that a 0.6 milligram dose of laquinimod reduced the average number of GdE lesions over a series of four scans by 40.4 percent. GdE lesions are sites of damage in the brain and spinal cord that provide a marker of inflammatory activity in MS.


However, no significant effects were seen after treatment with the smaller 0.2 milligram dose. The new Phase II trial involved 51 centres in nine countries. Researchers believe that the oral pills may encourage patients to take drugs sooner, making treatment more effective.


MS is an auto-immune disease which causes the destruction of myelin, the fatty insulation around nerve fibres. It results in jumbled nerves leading to symptoms which can range from pins and needles to paralysis. Available drugs for relapse-remitting MS include glatiramer acetate, interferon, natalizumab, and mitoxantrone.


The experimental pill is manufactured by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Teva, which sells the Copaxone MS drug, is competing with Germany’s Merck KGaA and Switzerland’s Novartis AG to develop a non-injected treatment. 


June 20, 2008 6:39 a.m. EST

Nidhi Sharma – AHN News Writer





  1. I have a brain lesion but no MS.
    Do you know of a study in CA that i could join.

  2. Hi,

    I will see if I can find if there are any studies in California. When I find some I will post them.


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