First world trial in using existing treatments for MS starts in UK


A ground-breaking new trial to test whether existing drug treatments are able to positively affect the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) will begin in the UK this year.

Whilst there are numerous disease-modifying therapies available for those with early or relapsing-remitting disease, treatment to slow or halt progressive MS is far less advanced, and that is where this trial seeks to make headway.

Current research looking at existing drugs pave the way for this extensive trial, with promise shown by the statin simvastatin as protection against nerve damage in progressive MS, and diabetes drug metformin, which has so far been shown to repair damaged myelin in animals.

With a focus on nerve cell protection and remyelination, the Octopus trail - named for the many arms of research it will encompass - is funded through the UK MS Society's 'Stop MS' campaign, and will begin recruitment later this year.

Read more extensive news coverage by the Guardian here.

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