EARLY IFNb-1a and Atorvastatin Combination Therapy of Isolated Clinical Syndrome Suggestive of Multiple Sclerosis

University of North Carolina (UNC) logo

University of North Carolina (UNC)




Multiple Sclerosis


Drug: Rebif

Study type


Funder types




Details and patient eligibility


The primary purpose is to determine the changes in gene expression induced by IFNb-1a (Rebif) and atorvastatin (Lipitor) combination therapy in patients with an isolated clinical syndrome suggestive of multiple sclerosis (MS), to identify markers of therapeutic response, and to predict patients' clinical response based on their in vitro response to this combination therapy measured by the gene expression levels in activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs).

Full description

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurologic disease, characterized pathologically by focal areas of inflammation, demyelination, axonal injury and degeneration in the central nervous system. MS follows several different disease courses. Approximately, 90% of patients have a relapsing form of the disease. We propose that atorvastatin (Lipitor) may enhance the immunomodulatory effects of INFb-1a (Rebif) in patients with clinically isolated neurological syndrome suggestive of MS. This combination may be more effective in preventing development of definitive relapsing-remitting MS if administered early in the course of the disease. The study will identify markers of disease activity that are selectively affected by this combination therapy. Identified markers may be used in future clinical trials to predict patient's clinical response and to monitor the response to treatment as a secondary outcome measure.


30 estimated patients




18 to 60 years old


No Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion criteria

Patients with isolated clinical syndrome suggestive of MS

At least three out of four magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings on the initial scan:

  • One Gd-enhancing lesion or nine T2 hyperintense lesions;
  • At least one infratentorial lesion;
  • At least one juxtacortical lesion; and
  • At least three periventricular lesions.
  • Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) 0-5.5
  • 18 to 60 years of age
  • At least one relapse in previous 12 months

Exclusion criteria

  • Patients with a diagnosis of clinically definitive relapsing-remitting (RR) MS, secondary progressive, or primary progressive MS.
  • Patients who have ever been treated with mitoxantrone, cytoxan, cyclophosphamide, or total lymphoid irradiation (TLI).
  • Patients treated with IFNb-1a, IFNb-1b, glatiramer acetate, intravenous immunoglobulins (IVIg), plasma exchange, methotrexate, or azathioprine in the previous 3 months.
  • Patients treated with intravenous or oral steroids within 30 days prior to baseline MRI.
  • Patients who have been treated with statins in the previous 3 months.
  • Pregnant or breast-feeding women.
  • Patients with a history of severe cardiac, hepatic, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, or renal disease.
  • Abnormal baseline blood tests including alanine transaminase (ALT) or aspartate transaminase (AST) greater than twice the upper limit of normal

Trial design

30 participants in 1 patient group

Rebif + Lipitor
Experimental group
Drug: Rebif

Trial contacts and locations



Data sourced from clinicaltrials.gov

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