Multiple Sclerosis :: Oral fingolimod, FTY720 for relapsing MS – multiple sclerosis

Data on fingolimod (FTY720), a new oral immunomodulating drug, reported recently in the New England Journal Medicine shows a relapse rate reduction of more then 50%, compared to placebo, with 77% of people taking Fingolimod remaining relapse-free over the two years of the trial.

The phase II trial involved 281 people with relapsing MS who received one of two doses of fingolimod or placebo once daily. At the end of six months, the placebo group was re-assigned to one of the two groups receiving fingolimod.

There were fewer lesions recorded by MRI scans at six months in those receiving fingolimod than those taking placebo; in the follow-up phase, lesion counts remained low in the active drug groups and fell in those previously taking placebo.

Larger, longer-term phase III clinical trials are starting and researchers hope to replicate the promising early results.

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