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Another pill has shown efficacy at reducing relapses and progression of disability in patients with relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis, a large Phase 3 study shows.
The oral medicine laquinimod, assessed in 1106 patients from 139 centres in 24 countries, reduced the number of relapses per year by an average of 23% and disability progression by 36%, the team reports in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The trial assigned patients to receive laquinimod or placebo in a 1:1 ratio for 24 months.
The “modest” reduction in relapse equated to a significant difference in annualised relapse rate of 0.3 in patients given laquinimod compared with 0.39 in those given placebo (p=0.002).
Confirmed disability progression was detected in 11.1% of patients on laquinimod, compared with 15.7% of those assigned to receive placebo.
The researchers, led by G Comi from Universita Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Milan, Italy, concluded: “In this phase 3 study, oral laquinimod administered once daily slowed the progression of disability and reduced the rate of relapse in patients with relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis.”