Current phase of trial: phase 2
Type of MS: primary progressive
Find out more about laquinimod
How does laquinimod work?
We don't fully understand how laquinimod works, but it is thought to alter the behaviour of immune cells, stopping them from entering the brain and spinal cord and damaging myelin.
Research suggests it could reduce inflammation and protect nerve structure and function.
How is laquinimod taken?
As a once daily tablet.
Relapsing MS - CONCERTO
Initial results from the CONCERTO trial were announced in May 2017. Laquinimod did not slow disability progression compared with placebo and the trial has now been discontinued.
The trial aimed to test the benefits of two doses of laquinimod (0.6mg and 1.2mg) on disability progression in around 1,800 people with relapsing MS. The higher dose was removed due to safety concerns relating to cardiovascular side effects.
Primary progressive MS - ARPEGGIO
This phase 2 study aimed to test the benefits of 48 weeks of two doses of laquinimod (0.6mg and 1.5mg) compared with placebo in 375 people with primary progressive MS. Due to safety concerns the higher dose of laquinimod was removed.
The trial finished in 2017 and we expect results early in 2018. Researchers are looking for brain volume changes, progression of disability and new lesions measured by MRI to show whether the drug is effective .
Earlier research - relapsing MS
BRAVO phase 3 trial
Laquinimod did not reduce relapse rates compared with placebo in this two year, phase 3 trial. But it did reduce rates of brain shrinkage and disability progression.
This study involved 1,331 people with relapsing MS, and compared the effects of 0.6mg of laquinimod with beta interferon (Avonex), and a placebo drug. Results were published in 2014.
ALLEGRO phase 3 trial
What are the side effects of laquinimod?
Low-dose laquinimod was generally well tolerated. The most common side effects were headaches, back pain and colds. Some people also had elevated liver enzyme levels, but this was reported to be treatable.
When is laquinimod likely to become available
In 2014 laquinimod was refused a license for relapsing MS due to disappointing trial results. It's now being tested in another phase 3 trial, which is due to finish in 2019.
Laquinimod is also being tested in primary progressive MS, but this research is at an earlier stage.