The £220 million we've invested in research has led to significant progress in the treatment of MS.
Find out how far we've come, and why we're closer than ever to stopping MS.
1953 - The MS Society is born
In 1953, our founders Richard and Mary Cave are frustrated at the lack of treatments and support available for Mary's MS. So they decide to do something about it. They set up their first meeting in West London, a small number of people attend and the MS Society is born.
In 1998 we open our world-leading tissue bank. It uses donated tissue to help scientists across the globe better understand MS - and find new treatments. It's provided tens of thousands of tissue samples to hundreds of research projects since its launch.
Our Research Network is a group of over 200 people affected by MS who help shape our research programme. They make sure all the research we fund reflects the needs and interests of people living with MS.
2007 - We open the MS Society Edinburgh Centre for MS Research
Our Edinburgh centre works to speed up the development of treatments for MS. Working with our Cambridge centre, researchers study the causes and mechanisms behind progressive MS - and investigate new ways to slow or stop progression.
The UK MS Register is the world’s first register to combine real life information from people with MS with clinical and NHS data. The register provides crucial information to researchers and helps build a clearer understanding of the impact of MS on people’s lives.
2017 - Myelin repair treatment in first UK clinical trial
Our Cambridge and Edinburgh centres find that the molecule RXR gamma promotes myelin repair in animals. Bexarotene (a cancer drug) increases this molecule in the brains of people. It’s now being tested in a phase 2 clinical trial to see if it promotes myelin repair in people with MS.
We test 3 repurposed drugs to see if they can protect nerves from damage in secondary progressive MS. The results tell us a lot about the biological pathways in progressive MS, helping researchers rule out and prioritise other drugs for future trials.
This project which will see if vitamin D levels are different in people with MS, and identify any factors that could affect these levels. We hope results of this project will inform any future trial testing whether vitamin D supplements could be an effective treatment for MS.
The drug bexarotene is being tested in a Phase 2 clinical trial to see if it repairs myelin in people with MS. If successful, it has the potential to be the first myelin repair treatment for people with MS. Results are expected in late 2019.
The platform will speed up the development of treatments that can slow, and ultimately stop, MS. It will act as a mega-trial, joining up centres around the UK to test many different treatments at the same time. We also hope to switch people on the trial to new drugs if the ones they are on don’t look promising. This has never been done before in MS.