Emerging multiple sclerosis disease-modifying therapies

Curr Opin Neurol. 2009 Jun;22(3):226-32. doi: 10.1097/wco.0b013e32832b4ca1.


Purpose of review: We focus on emerging therapies for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) whose progress through late-phase clinical trials has furthered our understanding of MS pathophysiology.

Recent findings: A promising array of potential new therapies for MS is targeting a broadening range of pathophysiologic mechanisms. Essentially all emerging therapies in late-phase clinical trials continue to focus on peripheral immune mechanisms that predominate early in the illness. The success of some of these, with varying mechanisms of action, has contributed to an evolution in our conceptual framework of MS.

Summary: Several of the emerging therapies focusing on immune-mediated disease mechanisms seem to offer stronger efficacy than the currently approved immune modulators for MS, although with potential for serious adverse effects. These therapies have also broadened our understanding of MS pathophysiology by demonstrating that significant decreases in new disease activity can be achieved through targeting of distinct cell types and mechanisms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic*
  • Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Multiple Sclerosis / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / immunology
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / immunology


  • Immunologic Factors
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins