This is from the US MS Society:
The race for an MS pill
Several oral MS therapies made news last year, bringing hope to the needle-weary.
Oral cladribine: Results from a phase II trial of this immunosuppressive drug by Serono encouraged the FDA to designate this drug as a “fast track product.” This should expedite the review of an international phase III trial now in progress, as soon as the trial is completed. More than 1,200 people are participating in this multi-center trial.
Oral fingolimod (FTY720): A phase II controlled clinical trial in 255 people with active, relapsing MS found that up to 77% of those taking fingolimod remained free of relapses over two years. International phase III trials sponsored by Novartis and involving more than 2,000 people are now underway.
Oral BG00012: A multi-center phase II controlled clinical trial of this immune system modulator, sponsored by Biogen Idec, and Fumapharm AG, led to a 69% reduction in MS inflammation as seen on MRI scans in people with relapsing-remitting MS.
Oral MN-166: In 2005, MediciNova, Inc., launched a phase II multi-center trial in Eastern Europe of an oral drug that may inhibit MS inflammation. Results are expected later this year or in 2008.
Oral SB-683699: A phase II study of 350 people with relapsing-remitting MS was recently launched by manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline. The drug is thought to reduce the number of active white blood cells that breach the blood-brain barrier and enter the brain.
Oral teriflunomide: An open-label, 180-participant, 144-week extension study of this agent, which is believed to modulate T cells, showed that those on placebo during the original trial who switched to the active drug experienced up to an 85% decrease in new, active areas of disease activity as seen on MRI by the final week of the study. A larger study in more than 1,000 people, sponsored by Sanofi-Aventis, is underway.
I think (have read) that the first oral therapies (if the trials prove successful) are likely to be available in 2009 (the earliest date). I think FTY720 looks very promising as it may promote some repair.
The ECTRIMS 2007 conference takes place in early October and the progress on many of these oral therapies is likely to be highlighted.