Current phase of trial: Phase 2
Type of MS: Secondary progressive MS and optic neuritis
Find out more about amiloride
How does amiloride work?
Amiloride is a sodium channel blocker. A build-up of sodium in the brain is thought to be linked to nerve damage in MS. Scientists predict amiloride could protect nerves by stopping sodium entering cells.
How is amiloride taken?
It's a tablet
Latest amiloride research
We co-funded a three-year trial to test the safety and effectiveness of three different drugs - amiloride, fluoxetine and riluzole – against a placebo treatment in 440 people with secondary progressive MS.
The trial is expected to be completed in 2018.
For more information visit the MS-SMART website.
We funded a clinical trial to look at the neuroprotective potential of amiloride in a phase 2 trial involving 46 people with acute optic neuritis. Scientists examined the effect of taking amiloride on the nerves at the back of the eye (retinal nerve fibre layer) compared with a dummy (placebo) drug.
Initial results of this trial were presented at a scientific conference in September 2016. Researchers found amiloride did not protect nerves from damage in acute optic neuritis.
In 2007, we set up the UK MS Clinical Trials Network (CTN): a group of MS experts tasked with developing and producing clinical trials for progressive MS.
We funded them to carry out the £500,000 worth of underpinning research needed in order to develop the MS-SMART trial.
Through the work of the CTN, a number of drugs were established as having the potential to be neuroprotective, of which amiloride scored particularly highly.
What are the side effects of amiloride?
The side effects associated with amiloride for people with MS will be tested as part of the MS-SMART trial.
In the early trial two out of 14 patients stopping treatment due to worsening bladder problems.
Commonly reported side effects from people using it to treat other conditions include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache and dizziness.
How does amiloride compare with current therapies?
There are no treatments licensed to treatment secondary progressive MS yet.
When will amiloride be available?
The MS-SMART trial is due to finish in 2018. If the results are positive amiloride will then need to be tested in larger phase 3 trials before it can be licensed.
We'll keep you updated on the progress of amiloride.