Findings from phase III trials of drug candidate laquinimod in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) have indicated that it could be beneficial in reducing disease progression.
Therefore, researchers studied the effect of laquinimod compared with placebo in two mouse models of secondary progressive MS — a harder-to-treat form of the disease.
The drug reduced the number of mice who developed MS in one of the models and in the other, in which mice were given laquinimod after symptoms developed, slowed progression of the disease.
The results showed that laquinimod modulated immune responses and, in particular, suppressed the development of meningeal B cell aggregates, which may be associated with progression in secondary MS.
Reporting in Neurology: Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation (online, 21 September 2016)
, the researchers say the findings give insight into the potential application of laquinimod in the treatment of MS.
 Varrin-Doyer M, Pekarek KL, Spencer CM, et al. Treatment of spontaneous EAE by laquinimod reduces Tfh, B cell aggregates, and disease progression. Neurology: Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation 2016;e272. doi: 10.1212/NXI.0000000000000272