MS-SMART Trial for Secondary Progressive MS Announced
The phase 2 trial will compare amiloride, ibudilast, and riluzole to placebo
The MS Society UK today announced that a new clinical trial will begin accruing patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) in the fall. The trial will compare amiloride, ibudilast, and riluzole to placebo and will evaluate both efficacy and safety.
Led by Jeremy Chataway, Ph.D., FRCP, of University College London and Siddharthan Chandran, M.B., Ph.D., of the University of Edinburgh, the Multiple Sclerosis-Secondary Progressive Multi-Arm Randomisation Trial (MS-SMART) will be conducted at 15 sites in England and Scotland. Researchers intend to recruit 440 patients for the 3-year trial.
At present there are no drugs known to slow the worsening of symptoms in SPMS. Each of the drugs to be tested in MS-SMART has already been approved for other conditions. Amiloride (Midamor) is a potassium-sparing diuretic first approved in 1967 and used in heart failure, hypertension, renal impairment, and hyperkalemia. Ibudilast, an anti-inflammatory and phosphodiesterase inhibitor, is used in Japan for asthma. And riluzole (Rilutek, Sanofi-Aventis), an inhibitor of TTX-sensitive sodium channels, is used in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Huntington’s disease.
In an interview with the BBC, Chataway said, "We hope at least one of these drugs will show that it significantly reduces the rate of brain loss - we're hoping for 30% or 40% reduction."
The £2.7 million MS-SMART trial is sponsored by University College London and funded by the (U.K.) Medical Research Council and the MS Society UK with additional support from the (U.S.) National MS Society and the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Society (AISM).