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Lancet. 2014 Jun 28;383(9936):2213-21. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62242-4. Epub 2014 Mar 19.

Effect of high-dose simvastatin on brain atrophy and disability in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS-STAT): a randomised, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial.

Author information

1
National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK; Queen Square Multiple Sclerosis Centre, Department of Neuroinflammation, University College London, London, UK; UCL Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK; Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK; Imperial College, London, UK. Electronic address: jeremy.chataway@uclh.nhs.uk.
2
UCL Institiute of Ophthalmology, University College London, London, UK.
3
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK.
4
Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Brighton, UK.
5
Queen Square Multiple Sclerosis Centre, Department of Neuroinflammation, University College London, London, UK; UCL Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK.
6
Imperial College, London, UK.
7
UCL Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK.
8
National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK; UCL Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK.
9
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK; Imperial College, London, UK; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.
10
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.
11
Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK; Imperial College, London, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, for which no satisfactory treatment presently exists, accounts for most of the disability in patients with multiple sclerosis. Simvastatin, which is widely used for treatment of vascular disease, with its excellent safety profile, has immunomodulatory and neuroprotective properties that could make it an appealing candidate drug for patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.

METHODS:

We undertook a double-blind, controlled trial between Jan 28, 2008, and Nov 4, 2011, at three neuroscience centres in the UK. Patients aged 18-65 years with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis were randomly assigned (1:1), by a centralised web-based service with a block size of eight, to receive either 80 mg of simvastatin or placebo. Patients, treating physicians, and outcome assessors were masked to treatment allocation. The primary outcome was the annualised rate of whole-brain atrophy measured from serial volumetric MRI. Analyses were by intention to treat and per protocol. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00647348.

FINDINGS:

140 participants were randomly assigned to receive either simvastatin (n=70) or placebo (n=70). The mean annualised atrophy rate was significantly lower in patients in the simvastatin group (0·288% per year [SD 0·521]) than in those in the placebo group (0·584% per year [0·498]). The adjusted difference in atrophy rate between groups was -0·254% per year (95% CI -0·422 to -0·087; p=0·003); a 43% reduction in annualised rate. Simvastatin was well tolerated, with no differences between the placebo and simvastatin groups in proportions of participants who had serious adverse events (14 [20%] vs nine [13%]).

INTERPRETATION:

High-dose simvastatin reduced the annualised rate of whole-brain atrophy compared with placebo, and was well tolerated and safe. These results support the advancement of this treatment to phase 3 testing.

FUNDING:

The Moulton Foundation [charity number 1109891], Berkeley Foundation [268369], the Multiple Sclerosis Trials Collaboration [1113598], the Rosetrees Trust [298582] and a personal contribution from A Pidgley, UK National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) University College London Hospitals/UCL Biomedical Research Centres funding scheme.

PMID:
24655729
DOI:
10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62242-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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