Progressive MS

Our strategic plan 2012-2016 identifies progressive MS as one of the three key priority areas for MSIF's international MS research going forward (along with paediatric MS and stem cells). This important research area has also been identified as a key focus for our global fundraising strategy.

International Progressive MS Collaborative

Since July of 2011, MSIF and volunteer and staff leaders from the MS Societies of Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States, have been engaged in discussions centred on the creation of an international collaboration that would leverage financial and intellectual resources to meet the unmet needs of people living with the progressive forms of MS. 

This group, whose mission is to expedite the development of effective disease modifying and symptom management therapies for progressive forms of MS, is now engaging the international MS research community to develop strategies and priorities in the following areas for research related to progressive forms of MS:

• Experimental models for improved preclinical evaluation of novel therapies,

• Targets/pathways identification and validation/repurposing of existing therapeutic agents, 

• Proof-of-concept clinical trial strategies,

• Clinical outcome measures and trial designs,

• Symptom management therapies and rehabilitation strategies.

Community engagement

The collaborative has convened working groups, focused on each of the priority research areas identified in its initial discussions. Working groups will be chaired by a research leader and will draw on expertise of additional experts from academia and industry.

These groups have been tasked with identifying gaps in the priority areas and suggesting funding strategies and collaborative models to most effectively address these needs. 

The work groups shared their findings and recommendations at a meeting on 1-2 November 2012 in London. The Steering committee of the collaborative is now in the process of integrating these recommendations into a systematic, pragmatic and comprehensive work-plan moving forward in developing this challenging and ambitious initiative.

In an effort to create momentum around the critical issue of progressive MS, the collaborative also intends to host an International Scientific Conference on Progressive MS, scheduled to take place in Italy on 6-8 February 2013. 

Collaborative members

Multiple Sclerosis International Federation, Dutch MS Research Foundation, Italian MS Foundation, 

MS Society of Canada

, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, USA

, UK MS Society

Steering committee

Peer Baneke, CEO, MS International Federation, UK

Doug Brown, PhD, Head of Biomedical Research, UK MS Society, UK

Dhia Chandraratna, PhD, Head of International Medical and Scientific Research, Multiple Sclerosis International Federation, UK

Timothy Coetzee, PhD, Chief Research Officer, NMSS, USA

Giancarlo Comi, MD, Director of the Department of Neurology, Scientific Institute San Raffaele, Italy

Anthony Feinstein, MD, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Neuropsychiatrist, Sunnybrook Hospital, Canada

Robert Fox, MD, Medical Director, Mellen Center for MS, Cleveland Clinic, USA

Raj Kapoor, MD, Consultant Neurologist, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, UK

Karen Lee, PhD, VP of Research, MS Society of Canada, Canada 

Marco Salvetti, MD, Director, Center of Neurology and Experimental Therapies, La Sapienza University, Italy 

Alan Thompson, MD, Dean, University College London Faculty of Brain Sciences, and Chair, International 
Medical and Scientific Board, MSIF, UK

Paola Zaratin, PhD, Head of Scientific Research Department, Italian MS Society, Italy

Kim Zuidwijk, PhD, MS Research Foundation, Netherlands