- Statins are oral medications most commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol. Current interest is based on the observation that the risk of developing new brain lesions was reduced by about 50 percent if patients with early forms of MS were taking atorvastatin (Lipitor®).
- In one study, the combination of Rebif with atorvastatin increased MRI and clinical disease activity, suggesting that statins may block the therapeutic effects of interferons. However, the two studies below did not support this, and more data are needed.
- A small Phase II study that added atorvastatin to Avonex in 30 patients with CIS indicated a significant reduction of new T2 lesions in those on combination therapy. Although the primary endpoint of the study was not met, other data in the study were encouraging.
- A small Danish Phase III study of 64 patients is examining simvastatin as an addon treatment to Copaxone in RRMS. The study, which has 20 participants, began in March 2008 and is scheduled for completion in March 2011. The primary outcome measure is the number of new and/or enlarging lesions on MRI; secondary measures include changes in the EDSS score and the number of documented relapses.