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Masitinib (also known as AB1010) is an oral treatment being developed for progressive MS by AB Science. In September 2020, the AB Science reported positive results of their phase 3 trial. 

Current phase of trial:
Phase 3

Find out more about masitinib

How does masitinib work

Masitinib is thought to block some of the body’s inflammatory responses, which could suppress the immune attacks that occur in MS.

Masitinib is also being trialled in treat several types of cancer, as it can stop some cells from growing or dividing.

How is masitinib taken?

It is taken daily as a tablet.

Latest research

A phase 3 trial is testing if masitinib can improve mobility, hand/arm coordination and cognitive function in progressive MS. It will involve 600 people with primary progressive or relapse-free secondary progressive MS, who will either take masitinib or a placebo.

In March 2017 AB Science announced that masitinib has passed a non-futility test, which suggests that the treatment has shown signs of being effective. Based on these results, the Independent Data Safety Monitoring Committee (IDMC) recommended that the study continues. Results are expected in 2018.

In September 2020, AB Science reported the results of their phase 3 trial: people taking masitinib showed a slower worsening of disability than the placebo group. This was true for both primary progressive and non-active secondary progressive MS.

Read more about the trial

Earlier research

In a small phase 2 trial, masitinib didn't show any significant benefits compared with placebo. But researchers reported some promising signs that the treatment could work in progressive MS.

The trial involved 35 people with progressive MS, who took either low or high dose masitinib, or a placebo.

What are the side effects of masitinib?

The most common side effects reported are loss of strength or energy, rash, nausea, fluid retention and diarrhoea.

How does masitinib compare with current therapies?

Masitinib has not been directly compared with other treatments.

When is masitinib likely to become available?

Positive trial results can only make a real difference to people with MS once a regulator like the European Medicines Agency concludes there's sufficient evidence the drug is safe and effective. The trial investigators plan to confirm their results with another, larger study looking at both EDSS and MRI. We'll keep you updated on their progress.