More than £10 million to be spent on progressive MS research

Published date: 15 Sep 2016 at 11:00AM

The International Progressive MS Alliance has awarded three £3.6 million grants to researchers accelerating the pace of progressive MS research.

The Alliance is a worldwide collaborative of MS organisations co-founded by the MS Society. More than 2.3 million people around the world live with MS and more than one million of those have a progressive form of the condition.

The Collaborative Network Awards are multi-year grants. They invest significant funding to fuel international networks of researchers and institutions that have worked together and demonstrated the potential to make crucial breakthroughs in understanding and treating progressive MS.

The three projects receiving funding are:

Identifying a biomarker of disability progression for use in clinical trials

This network is led by Douglas Arnold from McGill University in Canada and includes researchers from the Institute of Neurology at University College London. The team is pioneering the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) markers that signal disease progression, and adapting these for use in early clinical trials of progressive MS treatments.

Bioinformatics and cell reprogramming to develop an in vitro platform to discover new drugs for progressive multiple sclerosis (also known as BRAVEinMS)

This project is led by Gianvito Martino from San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy. The BRAVEinMS team is working to identify molecules that may have a role in protecting nerve cells or the capacity to promote myelin repair.

Development of a drug discovery pipeline for progressive MS

Francisco Quintana from Brigham and Women's Hospital in the US is leading a network spanning America, Austria, Canada and Israel. Their goal is to identify drug candidates that may be effective therapies for progressive MS and that will be ready for evaluation in patients within four years.

Incredibly proud

Michelle Mitchell, our Chief Executive, commented: “We’re incredibly proud to be part of the International Progressive MS Alliance and the really important work it is funding.

“More than 100,000 people are living with MS in the UK and most will develop a progressive form of the condition. Currently there are no treatments available for people with progressive MS that can slow down the worsening of their condition so this investment will offer a lot of hope.”

Bringing great hope

Caroline Sincock has progressive MS and is on the Alliance’s Scientific Steering Committee: “As someone who lives with progressive MS, it brings me great hope to see such international efforts to work together to answer questions about one of the least understood forms of MS.”

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Page last updated: 15 Sep 2016

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