Clinical and experimental data on the use of laquinimod for the treatment of multiple sclerosis

Author(s): De-Hyung Lee, Ralf A Linker

Laquinimod is a synthetic quinoline 3-carboxamide derivative with immunomodulatory properties. Treatment with laquinimod ameliorated disease activity in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a mouse model for multiple sclerosis. In the past, an immunosuppressive mechanism of action was initially assumed. With increasing knowledge on its effects, the immunomodulatory and possibly also neuroprotective properties of laquinimod came into the focus. Data from a Phase IIb trial in relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis suggests this compound has clinical efficacy on MRI parameters of inflammation. In the recently published Phase III ALLEGRO trial, laquinimod 0.6 mg/day showed a reduction of relapse rates and even more pronounced effects on disability progression compared with placebo. Data from the additional Phase III BRAVO trial are awaited with great interest. In all published studies, laquinimod was well tolerated and no severe side effects were reported. In summary, laquinimod has the potential to add to our therapeutic armamentarium as a new oral immunomodulator in multiple sclerosis.