MILAN – Several important clinical trials in progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) will provide results within the next couple years and will potentially help guide the field toward better treatments, neurologist Jeremy Chataway, MD, PhD, of University College London and Queen Square MS Center told colleagues at the 9th Joint ECTRIMS-ACTRIMS meeting.
“They’re all very different, and I think that’s exciting,” he said. “It’s a rich trial environment.”
The problem: At a median of almost 3 years in treatment for primary progressive MS, “we know that about a third of patients will progress despite on being on anti-inflammatory treatment. The same is true for secondary progressive MS. That is the hard core of what we have to think about. We want to improve the efficacy gap between control and active.”
First, Dr. Chataway highlighted the MS-STAT2 trial of simvastatin (Zocor), an inexpensive statin used to lower cholesterol. He is one of the leaders of the 3-year, multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, which is testing whether 80-mg daily doses of simvastatin will slow MS progression.
As Dr. Chataway noted, an earlier study – MS-STAT1 – found less brain atrophy in patients who took a high dose of the drug, which was “well tolerated and safe.”
Vascular morbidity drives disability and mortality in MS. “This is low-hanging fruit because we have the tools to do something about it,” he said. “There’s an opportunity here to add into our treatment paradigms across people with MS by actively treating their vascular comorbidity. It will have an effect.”
Recruitment for a trial of this approach is complete, and study results are expected in 2024 and 2025, Dr. Chataway said.
Another new study is exploring the possible effects of the antioxidant lipoic acid, also known as alpha-lipoic acid. As Dr. Chataway noted, a 2017 single-center, randomized, double-blind pilot study of daily oral 1,200 mg lipoic acid versus placebo linked the intervention to a dramatic lowering of brain atrophy – by about 50%.
The new LAPMS study, sponsored by the Veterans Administration, will explore whether lipoic acid affects walking ability, clinical outcome, and brain atrophy, Dr. Chataway said. Results from phase 2 are expected in a year or two, he said.
Dr. Chataway also highlighted one of his own trials, the OCTOPUS study, a multiarm, multistage study that will examine multiple drugs to treat progressive MS. It’s starting with metformin and will look at lipoic acid too, he said.
He also noted the phase 2 CALLIPER trial, which has completed enrollment and expects to provide top-line data in 2025. The multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled will test vidofludimus calcium in patients with progressive MS.
Finally, Dr. Chataway highlighted the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, add-on phase 2 NACPMS trial of n-acetyl cysteine and the phase 1 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of SAR443820, a central nervous system penetrant oral RIPK1 inhibitor.
Dr. Chataway discloses grants (UK Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation Board, Health Technology Assessment, Multiple Sclerosis Trials Collaboration, and Rosetrees Trust), advisory board service (Azadyne, Biogen, Lucid, Janssen, Merck, NervGen, Novartis, and Roche), other support (National Institute of Health Research Support, University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centers funding scheme), and serving as an trial investigator (Canadian MS Society, Ionis, Novartis, and Roche).
This article originally appeared on MDedge.com, part of the Medscape Professional Network.
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Publish date : 2023-10-26 14:45:33
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