Today marks the start of the biggest ever trial for secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) in the UK, under the leadership of UCLH consultant neurologist Jeremy Chataway.
With around 30 sites across England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Eire, MS-STAT2 will involve 1,180 people with SPMS – a form of the condition that currently has little effective treatment.
Co-funded by the MS Society, the MS-STAT2 trial is the final stage trial of simvastatin for SPMS. This Phase 3 study will confirm whether simvastatin could become amongst the first drugs to slow or stop disability progression for this form of the condition, offering new hope to thousands.
MS affects over 100,000 people in the UK, and most expect to develop a progressive form of the condition. It causes problems with how people walk, move, see, think, and feel. Positive results from a smaller trial showed simvastatin – currently used to treat high cholesterol – could improve levels of disability and slow disease progression. It also reduced the rate of brain atrophy (shrinkage), suggesting the treatment could protect nerves from damage in SPMS.
Nearly 30 sites all around the UK and Ireland will be recruiting for the trial until the end of 2019, including London, Sheffield, Leeds, Edinburgh, Poole, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Nottingham, Cambridge, Manchester, Cardiff and Exeter.