Promising new trials suggest that multiple sclerosis could be treated with a pill as soon as next year, the BBC reports, after two new trials yielded promising results. In each one, 1,000 people in over 18 countries participated, taking drugs called cladribine and fingolimod, which come as tablets. They cut relapse rates by 50 to 60 per cent over two years, compared to placebos. MS, the most common disabling neurological disorder to affect young adults, affects over 2.5 million people worldwide, causing mobility problems, lack of bladder and bowel control, and blurred vision. Current treatments must be injected or given by infusion, but pharmaceutical companies have been competing to develop a pill and provide more choice. However, side effects are possible; the trials suggested these may include an increased risk of herpes and cancer. Still, drug licenses have been applied for, and the MS society called it “great news.”
MS pill on the horizon?
Oral drugs could be available in 2011