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Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are studies to determine if a treatment is safe and effective for MS. These studies can offer people with MS an opportunity to actively participate in the effort to end the devastating effects of this disease —but these studies must be conducted carefully to ensure the validity of the results.

Here we provide resources for participating in studies, the latest news/results, and information about clinical research funded by the National MS Society.  More information > 


         Trials Recruiting Patients

         Clinical Trials in MS 2007 (PDF, in chart form)

         Clinical Trials in MS 2007 (PDF, expanded version for health care professionals)

         News/ Results From Clinical Studies & Current Trials Funded by the Society

        Additional Information and Resources


Clinical Trial Phases

Phase I

The first step in testing an MS treatment or other medical intervention is to determine the safety. In a small number of healthy volunteers or persons with MS, the investigators determine how the human body reacts to the therapy under study.

Phase II

If the therapy proves to be safe, studies begin to determine the effectiveness of the drug in people with MS. These studies may last several months or several years, and involve larger numbers of people. The study is "controlled"—that is, the drug is compared with the standard treatment, or inactive placebo.

Phase III

If an MS drug shows effectiveness, an even larger study is conducted in hundreds of people. These multi-center studies can span several years and several countries. The investigators gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of the therapy, and possible side effects. Phase I, II, and III studies are necessary for FDA approval.

Phase IV

Following FDA approval, post-marketing studies might be conducted to assess long-term safety and effectiveness.




Last updated July 26, 2007