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MS-SMART trial continues – but what is it?

Hi everyone,

Just thought I would update you on the MS-SMART trials, as we have been chatting about it here in the office…

Even if the MS-SMART trial is not suitable for you, or not something you would consider taking part in, as there are currently no medications available for people with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) it is worth knowing this is happening.

MS-SMART is a phase 2 clinical trial looking at disease progression in people with secondary progressive MS (SPMS). The fact that this trial started straight to ‘Phase 2’ means that the safety and tolerability of the drugs being tested is already known.

The study involves testing three medications that are already available and licenced for use in other conditions. This trial is seen as innovative as it is studying more than one drug at the same time, which could greatly speed up the process of making them available should the overall trial be successful.

It is thought that the medications being studied have neuroprotective qualities and the aim of the trial is to see if they can save nerves from being damaged further and slow down the progression of disability.

The medications being trialled are:

  • Amiloride – used for treating a heart disease
  • Riluzole – used for people with Motor Neurone Disease
  • Fluoxetine – used for treating depression and more commonly known as Prozac

The trial is running at various sites around the UK including London, Liverpool, Brighton, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Nottingham, Oxford, Plymouth, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent and Truro. The trial is open and in total needs to recruit 440 participants. It is recruiting up until the end of April 2016.

The lead researcher is Jeremy Chataway based at University College London. The trial has an inclusion criteria which anyone wishing to take part must meet. For more information including how to contact the researchers and for the inclusion criteria please see The MS-SMART website may also be of interest at

We will share updates and the results of the trial when they become available, but in the meantime if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me on the MS-UK Helpline – you can call 0800 783 0518 or connect via our live web chat service.

Best wishes,


Ryan Jones, MS-UK Helpline