I first created a multiple sclerosis treatment pipeline list in August 2005 and posted it in a forum at the website ThisisMS.com. I’ve been maintaining the list ever since, with lots of help from the Thisisms community. For the sake of trying something new, I’ve decided to give up on my long-standing determination to be the last person in the world without a blog — so here’s another blog.
The number of substances being tested as potential disease-modifying treatments for multiple sclerosis is large. I find it hard to keep track of all the related news reports, press releases, research abstracts and clinicaltrials.gov postings without some form of organization. There are other online lists of clinical trials. Am I too good to just use those lists? No, but clearly I either have too much time on my hands, or I have an unhealthy obsession with this stuff. Anyhow, I felt compelled to make my own list.
The first existing list of clinical trials that comes to mind is the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s (NMSS) “Agents in Clinical Trial for MS”. The thing that always annoyed me about the NMSS list is that it includes all on-going MS-related trials. Each of the approved MS treatments seems to be involved in around 5,483 clinical trials at any given time. I’m generally not interested in those trials. That makes it a bit cumbersome for me to comb through the NMSS list to find the drugs I want to know about. I want to know about new and better drugs that are coming to the rescue.
That “coming to the rescue” comment reminded me that I have MS. I don’t think I mentioned that above anywhere…nope, I didn’t. I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS in 2003 and have been on Rebif since 2004. I have no other qualifications that would give you any sort of comfort that this list is trustworthy or complete. I’m just a guy with MS. A guy with MS who won’t hesitate to blame the MS for any errors or omissions in this blog — you’ve been warned.
In this blog, I’ll only concentrate on disease-modifying treatments, not symptomatic treatments. Don’t get me wrong, symptomatic treatments are important, but then so is gravity, and you won’t see much about gravity in this blog either (my apologies to all you gravity lovers out there).