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Research team reports 'most positive' MS drug findings

Research team reports 'most positive' MS drug findings
23rd October 2008

A drug has been found to have positive effects in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).

While originally developed as a leukaemia treatment, alemtuzumab was found to stop the progress of MS in patients with relapsing-remitting forms of the condition, according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Furthermore, some patients in the trial reported that they had regained function in their body which had previously been thought to have been lost.

Principal investigator Alastair Compston, professor of neurology and head of the department of clinical neurosciences at the University of Cambridge, referred to alemtuzumab as the "most promising experimental drug for the treatment of multiple sclerosis" and said he hoped phase-three trials would confirm their findings.

The study team did however state that there can be significant side effects - one in five patients developed an under or over-active thyroid gland and three per cent of patients developed a low platelet count, with the latter complication leading to one fatality during the trial.

Responding to news of the results, the MS Society has said it is "delighted" with the findings and, although more research is now needed, it will bring great hope to people living with the condition.

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