You are here:

Drugs in development

The development of new drugs is a long and difficult process. Fewer than one or two compounds in 10,000 tested actually make it through to being licensed treatments with many being rejected on safety, efficacy or quality grounds.

On average it will take 10-15 years for a new compound to get from the test-tube into the medicine cabinet. It is important to remember that not all the treatments currently being developed or tested will receive a license or be approved for use in the NHS.

You can browse the tables below to see which drugs are in the pipeline for relapsing remitting, secondary progressive and primary progressive MS.

Martin Duddy, Consultant Neurologist

Atr the MS Trust health professional conference we caught up with consultant neurologist Martin Duddy and asked him to tell us all about the newest MS drugs on the horizon.

Remyelination and neuroprotection

Drug in development


Bexarotene Phase II

What does the drug development process involve?

Phase I:
The first step in testing a new drug is to determine the safety of single doses in a small number of healthy volunteers.

Phase II
If the treatment proves to be safe, studies begin to determine the effectiveness of the drug in people with the condition to be treated.

Phase III
If a drug shows effectiveness, a larger study is conducted in hundreds of people.

Data from all of these three phases is presented to the regulatory authorities.

NHS appraisal: 
Once a new medicine has been licensed, drugs may need to be appraised by NICE for England and Wales and SMC for Scotland.

Print this page