March is multiple sclerosis (MS) awareness month. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, nearly one million people are living with the disease in the US. It occurs when a person’s immune system damages the myelin of the central nervous system, which interferes with the transmission of nerve signals to the body.

Although the cause of the disease is unknown, clinical trials are being continuously completed to find the best solution to cure the disease. With that in mind, an analysis of the MS space can be completed by using the clinical trials database of GlobalData’s pharma intelligence center. In this article, GlobalData presents such an analysis.

When looking at MS clinical trials within the last three years (1 January 2017 to 31 December 2019), phase one clinical trials were the most common, representing 4.8% of the total MS trials. This was followed by phase two clinical trials, which represented 4.5%. Phase three clinical trials were next at 3.2% while phase four and phase zero were the least common at 2.7% and 0.7%, respectively. A small number of phase zero, phase one / two, phase two / three and phase three / four trials were combined with phase one, phase two, phase three and phase four trials, respectively. By overall count, the majority of MS trials in 2019 were phase one clinical trials, representing 2.4%.

Figure 1: MS clinical trials by phase, 2017–2019. Credit: GlobalData.

Ongoing, recruiting trials outnumbered trials in any other status, making up 6.0% of MS clinical trials. This was followed by trials with completed status, at 4.4% and planned trials, at 4.0%. Ongoing, not recruiting trials, suspended / withdrawn / terminated (S / W / T) trials and ongoing, recruiting by invitation trials were the three least common trial statuses.

Figure 2: MS clinical trials by status, 2017–2019. Credit: GlobalData.

A total of 1.0% of MS clinical trials are expected to begin in 2020 and 2021. When looking at them by phase, phase one and phase three tied for the most trials at 0.3%. Phase two and phase four were tied for the least common at 0.2% of clinical trials.

Figure 3: Upcoming MS clinical trials by phase. Credit: GlobalData.