Eight things you need to know about Octopus

Thu 18 April 2024

Octopus is our multi-arm, multi-stage trial for progressive MS. It’s designed to test treatments more efficiently than traditional trials.

  1. Octopus is now recruiting in all four nations, with sites including Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London. 

    Head to the Octopus website to find a list of sites making a splash

  2. This is only the first part of the Octopus trial. It’ll provide a structure to test new and repurposed drugs more quickly and cheaply. So we hope people with MS could benefit from the findings sooner than through traditional trials.
  3. Over 2,000 people have now registered their interest in Octopus. So if you’re one of these people, it may be some time before you hear from your local trial team. And it may not be during this first stage of the trial, which will last a few years.
  4. Octopus is a rolling programme, adding new treatments as they're discovered and removing drugs that aren’t showing potential. We hope Octopus will continue for years to come as we dive deeper into research. So there will be more opportunities for people to take part in Octopus in the future. 
  5. Octopus is just one of our clinical trials for people with progressive MS. We also have ChariotMS recruiting across the UK. 

    Find out more about how to be in a study

  6. Being part of another clinical trial now doesn’t mean you can’t join Octopus in the future once you’ve finished your current trial. So you don’t need to “jump ship” if you’re already part of a trial.
  7. It’s a secret who’s taking the drug and who’s taking a placebo (a dummy drug). That’s why the trial team have the drug manufacturer do something called 'over-encapsulation'. That’s to make sure the drug and placebo look identical, even to the researchers.
  8. People with progressive MS in Australia will have the chance to join Platypus – an extension of the Octopus trial. It will recruit up to 250 participants in Australia.

Learn more about Octopus