Cladribine Trial Results, Multiple Sclerosis
The trial, called CLARITY, was a two year study involving 1,326 people with relapsing/remitting MS receiving one of two doses of cladribine or an inactive placebo.
During the study, people receiving the lower dose of cladribine experienced a 58% reduction in relapse rates compared to the placebo group (an average of 0.14 relapses compared to 0.33). Side effects included lymphopenia, a reduction in white blood cells, headaches and nasopharyngitis (a cold).
Detailed results from the study will be presented at a conferences in 2009 and the manufacturers, Merck Serono, hope to submit the drug for licensing during the year. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) have already suggested that they may include cladribine in their next round of assessments.
Pam Macfarlane, Chief Executive of the MS Trust said, "We welcome the positive results of the study. We look forward to the fuller results which we hope will give a clearer picture of the effectiveness of this drug for people with MS."