New clinical trial will test diabetes drug and antihistamine for MS

Published 26 April 2022

A new clinical trial is taking place which will test to see if taking diabetes drug metformin, and antihistamine drug clemastine, could be used to help repair myelin in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

 

Laboratory studies have tested metformin for MS previously. Metformin mimics the effect of fasting in the body, can help return cells to a more youthful state while encouraging myelin regrowth.

 

Animal studies have found metformin enhances the myelin repair abilities of clemastine, which has been shown in a phase II trial to instruct stem cells to be more active in myelin repair. The two drugs have never been tested together.

 

If these drugs do appear to help, there would still be some time before they were available as a treatment. The first trial will run for two years, and if the results are encouraging, there will be a bid for funding for a bigger trial.

 

The trial will involve 50 volunteers, some of whom will receive a placebo. People with MS aged between 25 and 50 are being recruited. Find out more about the study here.