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MS Trial Alert: Clinical Trial Recruiting Participants with MS Across the U.S.


February 16, 2007

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Summary:

Investigators across the United States are enrolling participants in a clinical trial evaluating the safety and effectiveness of a once-a-day pill called fingolimod (also known as FTY720, by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.) compared to inactive placebo in 960 people with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

This large-scale, Phase 3 study will eventually involve more than 100 centers in the United States.The study is called FREEDOMS II (FTY720 Research Evaluating Effects of Daily Oral therapy in MS). This 24-month study is comparing the safety and effectiveness of two different doses of fingolimod or inactive placebo administered orally once daily.

Rationale:

As summarized in a National MS Society researchbulletindated September 2006, oral fingolimod significantly reduced signs of inflammation on MRI scans in a Phase 2 controlled clinical trial involving 255 people with active, relapsing MS. Fingolimod binds to a docking site (sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor, or S1P receptor) on immune cells, including T cells and B cells, that have been implicated in causing nervous system damage in MS. The drug appears to induce immune cells to remain in lymph nodes, where they can do little harm, preventing them from migrating into the brain and spinal cord. The Phase 2 results were published by Ludwig Kappos, MD (University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland) and colleagues inThe New England Journal of Medicine(2006;355(11):1124-1139).

Eligibility and Details:

To be considered for participation in the 24-month study, individuals must be 18-55 years of age with definite relapsing-remitting MS(a course of MS characterized by clearly defined flare-ups followed by partial or complete recovery periods),with at least one documented relapse during the previous year or two documented relapses during the previous two years.There are other specific inclusion criteria.

The primary outcome that will be measured is the reduction of relapse rate, and secondary outcomes will include frequency of relapse, disease activity on MRI scans, and time to progression of disability. For further details about the Phase 3 clinical trial,please see the fingolimod study Web site (www.msclinicaltrials.com/).

States where participants are being recruited are listed below:

Alabama

Arizona

California

Connecticut

Florida

Georgia

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Missouri

Nevada

New Jersey

New York

North Carolina

Ohio

Pennsylvania

South Carolina

Virginia

Tennessee

Texas

Vermont

Washington

Wisconsin

-- Research & Clinical Programs