Laquinimod, a new oral drug developed for multiple sclerosis treatment has showed promising results in the last clinical trials. This is the first oral medication developed for multiple sclerosis sufferers. All previous drugs, including glatiramer acetate and beta interferon are injectable, Having to inject medications all the time is quite an unpleasant experience.
In the clinical trials, laquinimod was shown to reduce signs of disease activity in scans.

In multiple sclerosis, the patient's faulty immune system attacks the myelin sheaths protecting the nerves, damaging their ability to transmit signals. It is the white matter and other parts of the nervous system that get affected.

Current drugs focus on the inflammation caused by the disease - a particular problem with the relapsing-remitting form but are all injectable. People living with MS can be encouraged that there are now several oral therapies in late stage clinical trials and Laquinimod was well tolerated by patients with the relapsing-remitting form of MS.

The researchers tested 300 patients who had had at least one relapse in the previous year and whose MRI scans showed evidence of at least one area of damage caused by inflammation. They were given either a 0.3mg or 0.6mg daily dose of laquinimod, or a placebo pill.

In comparison to placebo, patients who took the higher dose of laquinimod had 40% less damage while the lower dose had no significant effect.
Side effects were rare. Only two patients developed side effects, which were severe, however, the side effects disappeared after the drug was discontinued.