There is good news for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS).
The pill laquinimod appears to slow the disease and is well-tolerated by patients with the relapsing form of the disease, Reuters reports.
“Overall, the efficacy and safety profile emerging from this and from a previous phase two clinical trial . . . make laquinimod a promising therapeutic opportunity for patients,” said Giancarlo Comi, a researcher at the University of Vita-Salute, in the medical journal the Lancet.
There is no cure for multiple sclerosis and it affects more than one million people worldwide. It is twice as common in women as in men. Symptoms include numbness or weakness in limbs, vision loss, an unsteady gait and tremors.
The Italian team studied 306 people in nine countries who had the most common, relapse-remitting form of MS with varying levels of recovery and periods of remission between flare-ups.
Laquinimod showed a 40 percent reduction in the average number of inflammatory lesions of the brain, as compared to the placebo.
Researchers expanded the trial by another 12 weeks and found a 60 percent median reduction in the number of brain lesions, according to a spokesman from laquinimod’s manufacturer Teva Pharmaceutical Industries.