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Stopping MS In Its Tracks


There are more potential MS therapies in development today than at any other time in history, and a variety of therapies exist, largely for those with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis. For some, these treatments reduce the number and severity of attacks and slow disease activity.
We are making significant progress in stopping MS:
  • The Society joined with NIH to launch a therapy trial of the re-purposed therapy ibudilast in primary-progressive and secondary-progressive MS. This therapy has been designated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a “Fast Track Product” in terms of its development as a possible treatment of progressive MS.
  • The Progressive MS Alliance is a growing global initiative to end progressive MS. The Alliance began by bringing together the world’s leading experts in multiple sclerosis to identify the critical knowledge and treatment gaps where progress must be made to achieve breakthroughs necessary to change the world for people with progressive MS. In 2016 alone, the Alliance committed $14.1 million to 3 new collaborative research projects
  • There is increasing understanding that malfunctioning mitochondria, the tiny energy producers of cells (like battery packs), may contribute to nervous system damage in MS, opening up possibilities for preventing that damage. 
  • An international team has reported the feasibility and safety of using a patient’s own altered blood cells to reduce immune responses against specific components of myelin.
  • A report was published from the International Pediatric MS Study Group's Therapeutic Summit Workshop, outlining optimal trial designs for studying disease-modifying therapies in children with MS to improve care.
  • A large meeting of the National MS Society-launched MS Outcome Assessments Consortium and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared a pathway for a new tool for improving and speeding clinical trials in MS. This team already has generated a new database containing nearly 2500 patient records from the placebo arms of nine MS clinical trials is now available for research by qualified investigators. 
  • The Society contributed to the MS-SMART Trial (with the MS Society of the UK), which is testing three neuroprotective agents.
But more must be done to stop disease progression for everyone affected by MS – including those with progressive forms. We must stop the disease in its tracks and prevent further loss for people by speeding the development of new disease-modifying drugs and symptomatic treatments, including alternative and complementary therapies. We need to:
  • Better understand the role the immune system plays in the cause of MS and in ongoing disease activity
  • Support academic and commercial research leading toward clinical trials of new therapies to stop damage and progression of disability
  • Ensure that we understand health care issues and gather data to advocate for policies that enable everyone with MS to access quality care and treatment
  • Understand the mechanisms that cause tissue injury and that drive disease progression.
Read more about our successes and goals for stopping MS.

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