Objective: To develop and implement an evidence based framework to select, from drugs already licenced, candidate oral neuroprotective drugs to be tested in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis. Design: Systematic review of clinical studies of oral putative neuroprotective therapies in MS and four other neurodegenerative diseases with shared pathological features, followed by systematic review and meta-analyses of the in vivo experimental data for those interventions. We presented summary data to an international multi-disciplinary committee, which assessed each drug in turn using pre-specified criteria including consideration of mechanism of action. Results: We identified a short list of fifty-two candidate interventions. After review of all clinical and pre-clinical evidence we identified ibudilast, riluzole, amiloride, pirfenidone, fluoxetine, oxcarbazepine, and the polyunsaturated fatty-acid class (Linoleic Acid, Lipoic acid; Omega-3 fatty acid, Max EPA oil) as lead candidates for clinical evaluation. Conclusions: We demonstrate a standardised and systematic approach to candidate identification for drug rescue and repurposing trials that can be applied widely to neurodegenerative disorders.
- oral neuroprotective drugs
- evidence based framework
- secondary progressive multiple sclerosis