The new orally active drug laquinimod (ABR-215062) was evaluated in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in the Lewis rat. EAE shares important immunological and clinical features with multiple sclerosis (MS). Doses of 16, 1.6 and 0.16 mg/kg/day laquinimod dose-dependently inhibited disease and showed better disease inhibitory effects as compared to roquinimex (Linomide). Furthermore, laquinimod inhibited the inflammation of both CD4+ T cells and macrophages into central nervous tissues, i.e. the spinal cord. It also changed the cytokine balance in favour of TH2/TH3 cytokines IL-4, IL-10 and TGF-beta. Laquinimod therefore represents a new orally active immunoregulatory drug without general immunosuppressive properties with a potential for the treatment of severe autoimmune diseases like MS.