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New drug may prevent relapse in MS patients

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Pharmaceutical company Novartis has revealed its Gilenia drug reduces relapse rates in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Presenting the results of a two-year trial at the American Academy of Neurology, the company said the relapse rates for previously untreated patients taking the once-daily Gilenia pill fell by 62%.

Figures also showed that there was a 44% reduction in relapse rates in patients who had previously received some form of treatment for the disease, such as interferon beta-1a.

At two years Gilenia delayed the progression of disability by 30% compared to those receiving placebos, it said.

Multiple sclerosis symptoms can vary among patients, and include weakness in one or more limbs, loss of vision, tremors, and an electric shock sensation with certain head movements.

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