Multiple Sclerosis-Simvastatin Trial 2

  • End date
    Aug 31, 2023
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University College, London
Updated on 22 January 2021


Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a progressive neurological disorder of the brain and spinal cord. It affects approximately 120,000 people in the United Kingdom and 2.5 million people globally. Most people with MS experience two stages of the disease:

Early MS - Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS), which is partially reversible, and Late MS - Secondary Progressive MS (SPMS), which affects the majority of patients, usually after 10 to 15 years after diagnosis.

SPMS results from progressive neuronal degeneration that causes accumulating and irreversible disability affecting walking, balance, manual function, vision, cognition, pain control, bladder and bowel function. The pathological process driving the accrual of disability in SPMS is not known at present.

Immunomodulatory anti-inflammatory disease modifying therapies (DMTs) are increasingly effective in reducing relapse frequency in RRMS, however, they have been unsuccessful in slowing disease progression in SPMS. This is the overwhelming conclusion from an analysis of 18 phase 3 trials (n=8500), of which 70% of the population had SPMS, all performed in the last 25 years. There is no current disease modifying treatment (DMT) for SPMS.

In an earlier study (Multiple Sclerosis-Simvastatin 1; MS-STAT1), 140 people with SPMS were randomly assigned to receive either placebo or simvastatin for a period of two years. The investigators found that the rate of brain atrophy (loss of neurons - 'brain shrinkage'), as measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), was reduced in patients receiving simvastatin compared to those taking placebo.

Several other long term studies have also reported that there might be a relationship between the rate of brain atrophy and the degree of impairment. The study is designed to test the effectiveness of repurposed simvastatin (80mg) in a phase 3 double blind, randomised, placebo controlled trial (1:1) in patients with secondary progressive MS (SPMS), to determine if the rate of disability progression can be slowed over a 3 year period.

The results generated from this trial may help to improve the treatment options of people with MS. In addition, taking part in this trial will mean regular review by an experienced neurologist regardless of the drug that patients are randomly allocated to receive.

Condition Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic progressive multiple sclerosis, Radiologically Isolated Syndrome, Dermatite Atopique modérée ou grave, secondary progressive multiple sclerosis
Treatment Placebo, Simvastatin
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03387670
SponsorUniversity College, London
Last Modified on22 January 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Patients with a confirmed diagnosis of multiple sclerosis (MS) that have entered the secondary progressive stage. Steady progression rather than relapse must be the major cause of increasing disability in the preceding 2 years. Progression can be evident from either an increase of at least 1 point if EDSS score <6, or an increase of 0.5 point if EDSS score 6, or clinical documentation of increasing disability
EDSS 4.0 - 6.5 (inclusive)
Aged 25 to 65 years old
Patients must be able and willing to comply with the terms of this protocol
Written informed consent provided

Exclusion Criteria

Relapse within 3 months of baseline visit
Patients that have been treated with steroids (intravenous and/or oral) due to MS relapse/progression within 3 months of baseline visit. These patients may undergo a further screening visit once the 3 month window has expired and may be included if no steroid treatment has been administered in the intervening period; (Note: Patients on steroids for another medical condition may be included in the trial provided the steroid prescription is not for MS relapse/progression)
Significant organ co-morbidity e.g. cardiac failure, renal failure, malignancy
Screening levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) / aspartate aminotransferase (AST) or creatinine kinase (CK) 3 x upper limit of normal (ULN)
Current use of a statin; or any use within the last 6 months
Medications that interact unfavourably with simvastatin as outlined in the current summary of product characteristics (SmPC); including but not limited to CYP3A4 inhibitors (e.g. itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole, fluconazole, HIV protease inhibitors (e.g. nelfinavir), boceprevir, erythromycin, clarithromycin, telithromycin, telaprevir, nefazodone, fibrates (including fenofibrates), nicotinic acid (or products containing niacin), azole anti-fungal preparations, macrolide antibiotics, protease inhibitors, verapamil, amiodarone, amlodipine, gemfibrozil, ciclosporin, danazol, diltiazem, rifampicin, fusidic acid, grapefruit juice or alcohol abuse
Primary progressive MS
Diabetes mellitus type 1
Uncontrolled hypothyroidism
Female participants that are pregnant or breast feeding. Women of child bearing potential (WOCBP) who are unwilling or unable to use an acceptable method to avoid pregnancy for the entire study period, and up to 4 weeks after the last dose of study drug
Use of immunosuppressants (e.g. azathioprine, methotrexate, ciclosporine) or disease modifying treatments (avonex, rebif, betaferon, glatiramer) within the previous 6 months
Use of mitoxantrone, natalizumab, alemtuzumab, daclizumab or other monoclonal antibody treatment, if treated within the last 12 months
Use of fingolimod, fumarate, teriflunomide within the last 12 months
Use of other experimental disease modifying treatment within the last 6 months
Commencement of fampridine 6 months from day of randomisation
Concurrent participation in another clinical trial of an investigational medicinal product or medical device
Patients with rare hereditary problems of galactose intolerance, the lapp lactase deficiency or glucose-galactose malabsorption
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