A clinical trial of a potential remyelinating drug in multiple sclerosis.


  • Multiple sclerosis

Project type

  • Clinical drug trial

About the project

The "CCMR One" clinical trial was a randomised double blind placebo controlled study. The purpose of this clinical research study was to assess whether bexarotene can promote remyelination.

Nerves within the brain and spinal cord are protected by a surrounding layer of substance called myelin. In multiple sclerosis (MS), the immune system of the body attacks this myelin, stripping it off the nerve fibres. This causes the nerves to malfunction, leading to multiple sclerosis symptoms. Studies have shown that a group of drugs can stimulate cells in the brain to repair damaged myelin. This process is called 'remyelination'. One of the drugs in this group is bexarotene, a capsule already used as an anti-cancer medication. We think that bexarotene may also promote remyelination in people with MS who are also taking disease-modifying drugs and also to assess whether it really can promote remyelination.

Participants in the trial took several capsules (which might be bexarotene or a placebo) a day for 6 months and remyelination was assessed by one MRI scan at the beginning of this six-month period and one at the end.

Unfortunately the trial's conclusions were that bexarotene would not be recommended to treat people with MS because it was poorly tolerated and did not show beneficial effects on remyelination. However some of the results suggested that it would be worthwhile to undertake further investigations using other similar substances.

More information

CCMR One on the EU Clinical Trials Register


Anne Rowling Clinic, Chief Scientist Office and MS Society


Brown JWL, Cunniffe NG, Prados F, Kanber B, Jones JL, Needham E et al.
2021 Aug 19 in
Lancet Neurology
Remyelination varies between and within lesions in multiple sclerosis following bexarotene
J. William L. Brown, Ferran Prados, Daniel R. Altmann, Baris Kanber, Jonathan Stutters, Nick G. Cunniffe, Joanne L. Jones, Zoya G. Georgieva, Edward J. Needham, Cyrus Daruwalla, Claudia Gandini Wheeler-Kingshott
Peter Connick, Siddharthan Chandran, Robin Franklin, David MacManus, Rebecca Samson, Alasdair Coles, Declan Chard
2022 Sep 17 in
Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology




Dawn Lyle, Research Project Coordinator
0131 465-9517

Eligibility criteria

Study participants need to live reasonably close to the Anne Rowling Clinic as frequent visiting (at times weekly) is required. Participants should have a diagnosis of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), need to be able to walk, and should be taking a first-line disease-modifying drug (beta-interferon, copaxone, Tecfidera etc). Other criteria also apply.