Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and partner Active Biotech say a late-stage trial of laquinimod has missed its primary endpoint, with the drug failing to halt the progression of multiple sclerosis in patients with relapsing remitting forms of the disease (RRMS).

Secondary endpoints measuring time to confirmed disability progression at six and nine months also did not reach significance but, on the plus side, other data from the CONCERTO trial were more encouraging, including a 40 percent improvement over placebo on an endpoint measuring change in brain volume, also an indicator of disability progression over time.

Other encouraging results were seen on the secondary endpoint of time to first relapse, with a reduced risk of 28 percent, and a 25 percent reduction in the annualised relapse rate.

“We have learned a great deal from the CONCERTO trial and we will continue our analysis of the data,” said Michael Hayden, president of global R&D and chief scientific officer at Teva.

“Although we are disappointed by not meeting the primary endpoint, we did see positive results on a number of secondary and exploratory endpoints which fuels our belief in the potential of laquinimod as a possible treatment for neurodegenerative diseases.”

The firm said it has no current plans to further pursue laquinimod in RRMS, but is continuing to study the drug in two other trials.