MS-SMART trial for secondary progressive MS underway
Published date: 02 Feb 2015 at 8:21AM
MS-SMART, a phase 2 clinical trial into progressive MS, has begun. It will investigate whether treatments that are already being used for other conditions could slow or halt disability progression in people with secondary progressive MS.
The three-year trial will test the safety and effectiveness of three different drugs against a dummy (placebo) drug:
- amiloride (licensed to treat heart disease)
- fluoxetine (licensed for depression)
- riluzole (licensed to treat MND)
All three drugs have shown the potential to protect nerves from damage, which could ultimately stop or slow disability progression.
Huge unmet need
MS-SMART is led by Dr Jeremy Chataway at UCL (University College London) and Professor Siddharthan Chandran at the University of Edinburgh.
Dr Chataway said: "While there are an increasing number of treatments for MS that can reduce the frequency or severity of MS relapses, there’s nothing that can stop the accumulation of disability in people with secondary progressive MS - it's a huge unmet need in the treatment of the condition."
MS-SMART will cost £2.7m, and involve 440 people with secondary progressive MS. We are co-funding the trial, and also funded £500,000 worth of underpinning research to make it happen.
Up to 15 trial sites in cities and towns across Scotland and England will be involved, and participants will be monitored for two years using MRI scans and other clinical measures to test for signs of MS progression.
Michelle Mitchell, Chief Executive of the MS Society, said:
“People with MS have lived for years in hope that one day we will find an effective treatment for secondary progressive MS; this trial takes us one step closer to making that hope a reality. Our goal is to ensure people with MS have access to effective treatments including treatments which can slow, stop or reverse the accumulation of disability.”
If you would like more information about the trial, visit the MS-SMART website: www.ms-smart.org