The study found that, compared with a placebo, patients treated with laquinimod had decreased rates in brain tissue damage shown by various MRI markers, specifically decreased rates of white matter, grey matter and thalamic atrophy, the companies said.
The patients also developed fewer permanent black holes and accumulated less damage in normal appearing brain tissue.
"These analyses reinforce our faith in the potential of laquinimod," said Michael Hayden, president of global research and development and chief scientific officer for Teva.
He announced plans to initiate a clinical trial of the drug in primary progressive multiple sclerosis.
"We also believe the potential neuroprotective benefits of laquinimod could have significant application in the treatment of other diseases like Crohn's disease, lupus nephritis, Huntington's disease and Alzheimer's," Hayden said.