Posted by: Thixia | July 1, 2008

Laquinimod – Teva’s Multiple Sclerosis Drug Slows The Disease

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries’ new drug laquinimod for multiple sclerosis slows the disease in patients with relapsing form.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease affecting about 2.5 million people worldwide damaging white tissue of brain and nerves. Symptoms of Multiple sclerosis show up at ages from 20 to 40 and vary for different patients.


Multiple sclerosis symptoms include ‘weakness in limbs, partial or complete loss of vision, tingling or pain, electric-shock sensations, certain head movements, tremors, and unsteady gait.’ Some of patients suffer fro various symptoms and some of them can be totally disabled by the disease.


The phase II clinical trial of 306 patients was conducted by University of Vita-Salute. Patients were given 0.3mg or 0.6mg doses of laquinimod a day or a placebo. Both doses of the drug were well tolerated by all patients, but the lower dose did not show statistically significant improvement. The patients taking higher doses of the drug appeared to have 40% less inflammatory lesions in brain, compared to the patients in the placebo group.


When the study was extended for 12 more weeks, laquinimod showed even better results with 60% less inflammatory lesions in brain of those taking the drug, compared to the patients in the placebo group.


There is also phase III clinical trial that needs to be conducted before applying the drug for approval, and researchers think that the trial needs to show that laquinimod is even better than the existing drugs for multiple sclerosis treatment, or it is good enough to be approved. The drug already has one advantage compared to the existing ones: it is an oral drug (a pill), while the others are injectable.





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