Re-purposing for Progressive MS- a new trial on Simvastatin

25 May, 2017

An exciting large-scale phase 3 trial is about to begin in the UK. The trial is investigating whether a commonly used and inexpensive cholesterol-lowering drug (called Simvastatin), could potentially become a treatment for secondary progressive disease. This is a global collaboration costing more than AUD$10.4 million, with over 1,000 people with MS involved, worldwide.

There is a lot of interest amongst the managing members of the International Progressive MS Alliance, MS researchers globally and of course people affected by MS in this headline research project.

People with MS have been fundamental to the design of the trial, which will evaluate whether a drug, already used successfully in millions of people worldwide for heart and stroke disorders, could be advantageous in slowing down the progression of MS.

This clinical trial is novel in its design which is very exciting. Hopefully, this new design will lead to getting potential drugs to help people in a much faster timeline.

Dr Matthew Miles, Executive Committee member of the International Progressive MS Alliance said that. ‘Importantly, it beautifully encapsulates two things that are at the forefront of our minds with progressive disease. One is global collaboration and this is a perfect example that with both the US and UK MS societies contributing significant funding to the trial. Secondly, it involves the potential re purposing of cheaper, proven therapies to help people with progressive MS.’

The recently announced Collaborative Network Awards funded by the International progressive MS Alliance has set their key goals, one of them being, a drug discovery program looking at both new and re-purposed drugs.

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