During this year's American Academy of Neurology meeting, lead investigator of the Cleveland Clinic, Robert Fox, MD, described the results of the 96-week phase 2 clinical trial called SPRINT-MS. 255 patients from 28 sites across the US with primary or secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (PPMS or SPMS) were treated with ibudilast (also known as MN-166 or Ketas) and studied for a total period of two years.

The primary outcome was the progression of brain atrophy, and according to Dr. Fox, the results indicated that ibudilast was linked to a "48% slowing in the progression of brain atrophy compared to placebo."

Patients with PPMS benefited more than those with SPMS as the SPMS patients showed "essentially no slowing of brain atrophy". Furthermore, PPMS patients in the placebo group doubled the rate of atrophy compared to the SPMS patients in the placebo group. The different effects of the treatment in PPMS versus SPMS patients are not well understood and it is not known how this will relate to a phase 3 trial.

Click here to read more of Dr. Fox's talk.