How does cladribine work in MS

A scientist pipetting

Lead researcher: Dr Klaus Schmierer

Based in: Queen Mary, University of London

Grant we awarded: £33,960


An oral version of the anti-cancer drug cladribine (Mavenclad) was licenced for relapsing MS in Europe in August 2017.

Researchers believe that cladribine could also be an effective treatment for progressive MS, and want to run a large trial. To corroborate the trial they want to understand how the treatment works in more detail.

What will happen in the project?

Cladribine kills certain immune cells called B and T cells, which we know are important in inflammation and myelin damage in MS. Our researchers believe that a key part of cladribine’s potential is its ability to target a specific type of mature B cell, both in the blood and the central nervous system.

They will test this theory by looking for changes in the levels of immune cells, their products and certain biomarkers in people who have had cladribine injections. These will be measured in people’s blood and the fluid surrounding their brain and spinal cord.

How will it help people with MS?

Our number one goal is to find effective treatments that can stop MS. Research like this could help us to pick the most promising treatments to test for people with progressive MS.

The difference you can make

We want everyone with MS to have access to effective disease modifying treatments. With your help, we can continue to support vital research like this.