More MS news articles for Nov 2001

Pirfenidone for chronic progressive multiple sclerosis|-2366265230036197976/-1052814329/6/7051/7051/7052/7052/7051/-1

Multiple Sclerosis,
October 2001, vol. 7, no. 5,   pp. 305-312(8)
Walker J.E. [1]; Margolin S.B. [2] *
[1] Board Certified Psychiatry and Neurology, 12870 Hillcrest, Suite #201, Dallas, Texas 75230, USA [2] Marnac, Inc., 9400 N. Central Expressway, Suite #305, Dallas, Texas 75231 USA [*] Correspondence: SB Margolin

Current treatment of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis is unsatisfactory in stabilizing or reversing the disabilities associated with the disease.

Pirfenidone is a new non-peptide drug which has been shown in vitro and in vivo to decrease synthesis of Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-a) and block receptors for TNF-a.

Since TNF-a seems to be a key cytokine in demyelination, a pilot study of oral pirfenidone was undertaken in an open-label baseline vs treatment protocol over a 2-year period in 20 patients.

Fourteen (14/20) patients (70%) remained in the study for 2 years.

Three (3/20) patients dropped out early because of gastrointestinal adverse reactions, and another three patients dropped out for personal reasons after 1 year (not because of adverse reactions).

The remaining patients did not manifest any other drug-related adverse reactions and complications.

Improvement or stabilization occurred in most patients at about 3 months, and it was sustained at 6, 12 and 24 months as evaluated by both primary and secondary outcome measures.

Magnetic resonance imaging failed to reveal any new lesions.

Thus, pirfenidone appears to offer protection against the usual slow progression of the disease.

Most patients experienced a distinct decrease in their neurological disability.

These findings indicate that an extensive multi-center double blind and placebo controlled trial is warranted.

© 2001 ingenta