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Laquinimod Appears Effective Against Multiple Sclerosis

Animal study indicates laquinimod slows disease progression, but human trials needed

THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) — An experimental drug, laquinimod, appears to prevent or slow the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) in mice, according to a study published online Sept. 21 in Neurology: Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation.

Scott Zamvil, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues used 50 mice bred to develop a spontaneous form of MS. The mice received either a daily dose of oral laquinimod, or a placebo. The investigators then analyzed and counted the rodents’ T cells and B cells.

Only 29 percent of the mice taking laquinimod developed MS compared to 58 percent of those given the placebo. The researchers believe that the drug may help prevent MS, since there was a 96 percent reduction in harmful clusters of B cells.

In a second experiment that involved 22 mice, Zamvil’s group gave the animals laquinimod after they had experienced some MS-linked paralysis. The disease progression among the mice slowed significantly as a result, the researchers found.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Teva, which manufactures laquinimod and provided the drug for the study.

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