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Abbott Laboratories and its Massachusetts biotech partner have begun the final-stage clinical trial of a drug they hope can treat multiple sclerosis.
North Chicago-based Abbott and Cambridge-based Biogen Idec are developing the drug called daclizumab, which will be injected under the patient’s skin on a monthly basis.
The trial marks a fresh effort by the drug industry to find new ways of changing the course of the debilitating auto-immune disease instead of just treating the symptoms, as most products on the market currently do.
Multiple sclerosis occurs when a patient’s immune system starts to attack the central nervous system. It is a common neurological disorder affecting an estimated 2.5 million people across the world.
Dr Ludwig Kappos, lead investigator for the study and head of MS research at University Hospital in Basel, Switzerland, said: “Despite significant advances in MS therapy, many patients continue to experience disease activity. The MS community is eager for new treatment approaches.”
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