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Cladribine Tablets Reduce Risk of MS Progression and Relapse

May 8, 2017

A CLARITY clinical trial shows that Cladribine tablets reduce the risk of disability progression and relapse in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis (MS). Cladribine is an oral small molecule developed by Merck that selectively targets immune lymphocytes. The white blood cells are believed to play a central role in mechanisms underlying MS. In the study, Cladribine significantly decreased the risk of disease progression and relapse in a subset of 289 patients with high disease activity. The risk over six months decreased in 82% of those patients, versus 47% in the CLARITY population overall when compared with a placebo.

Gavin Giovannoni, the trial’s principal researcher, stated that the data from the trial indicated that “patients in the high disease activity subgroup treated with Cladribine showed a greater response than that seen in the overall CLARITY trial population.” Researchers also found that relapse treatment history and brain scan characteristics can help identify patients who are at higher risk of experiencing relapses o disease progression. There were also results that taking Cladribine for 20 days over a two-year period initially led to a decrease in the number of patients’ white blood cells.