Oral MS Drug Reduces Disease Activity, Disability Progression

MS patients have longed for an MS treatment that they can conveniently take orally. And now there is a new oral drug that may just address this need. Further clinical trials show that an oral pill of the drug laquinimod have been quite effective in reducing the number of relapses in people with multiple sclerosis.

A large and long-term Phase III clinical study was undertaken in order to further check the effectiveness of the oral drug laquinimod. The said study involved 1,106 people who suffer from relapsing-remitting MS in over 24 countries. The participants were given either a once daily 0.8 mg. dose of laquinimod orally or a placebo for a period of 2 years. A total of 80 percent of those taking laquinimod and 77 percent of those taking a placebo were able to finish the clinical study.

Of those who took laquinimod, the researchers saw around a 23 percent reduction in terms of the annual relapse rate as compared to those who took a placebo. In addition, those patients who took laquinimod also experienced a 36 percent reduction in disability progression as well as 33 percent less brain atrophy as compared to the placebo group.

According to Giancarlo Comi, MD, director of the Department of Neurology and Institute of Experimental Neurology at the Scientific Institute and University Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Milan, Italy and the lead author of the study, “These exciting results confirm that laquinimod has a significant impact on progression of disability and disease activity, while maintaining a high safety profile.”

“This may be attributed to the novel mechanism of action of laquinimod, which effectively and safely addressed both the acute inflammatory activity and the accumulation of irreversible tissue damage. This suggests a substantial future role for laquinimod in the treatment of MS,” he further added.

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110411163801.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily+%28ScienceDaily%3A+Latest+Science+News%29

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