Thursday, April 15, 2010


We've all been waiting for an oral MS medication. I know I'm tired of the needle's.

An article came out today in Business Wire containing recent study information on Laquinimod.

Manufactured by Teva, Laquinimod is showing some pretty promising, if unexpected, results. The idea of the drug is to reduced the amount of exacerbations experienced with RRMS through immunomodulation. An unexpected positive effect exhibited has been that it appears that in additional to anti-inflammatory properties the drug may also give neuro protection. Wouldn't that be something? A once a day pill that would knock down the amount of exacerbations you have AND protect your neurons. This would mean protection against permanent neurological damage.

Current animal studies show that following treatment with Laquinimod there were significant reductions in the extent of demyelination, and more axonal preservation within spinal cord lesions. Additionally, infiltration of inflammatory cells into the spinal cord and brain were reduced. 

Laquinimod also has also promise with Rheumatoid Arthritis, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, Guillain Barré Syndrome, Lupus and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Laquinimod was given fast track designation in February of 2009. It will be interesting to see what the phase III trials show. Their results are expected later this year.


~Erin~ said...

This would be sooo wonderful! I want to toss the needles out the window!

Have a great day!

J DBlock said...

The mechanism of action would be most interesting - is it in fact similar to Fingolimod, (a sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor (S1PR)) modulator, that acts by holding the white blood cell at bay. The chemical structure of Laquinimod is quite different. It is interesting to note the addition of the Cl atom and the N-ethyl to Laquinimod that distinguishes it from its failed quinoline derivative predecessor (Roquinimex (Linomide) that has the identical structure but without the Chlorine atom and the N-ethyl substituted for the N-methyl. Of course Teva will have to take a very close look whether there is a statistical increase in melanomas and cardiac implications in the safety trials.

J D Block D Pharm
Locum International