Published: 16-01-2017 14:50 | Updated: 18-01-2017 08:34

EUR 15 million to KI-coordinated project on MS treatment

A new international partnership called ‘MultipleMS’, coordinated at Karolinska Institutet, has been awarded 15 million euro from the European Commission to find novel and better treatments for Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

In this project, universities and companies across 12 European countries and the US will unite efforts to tailor the development and application of therapies to the individual MS patient.

“What is truly unique about this project is the scale of the partnership and the huge amount and different kinds of patient data that will be combined, such as clinical, genetic, epigenetic, molecular, MRI and lifestyle data”, states Ingrid Kockum, Professor at Karolinska Institutet and coordinator of the project.

MS is an immune-mediated disease affecting the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). Over two million persons worldwide have been diagnosed with the disease and a cure is not yet available.

The result of current treatments varies strongly from patient to patient, which makes it unpredictable which patient will benefit from what treatment.

“Our novel approach is to take the multifaceted nature of MS as the starting point for identifying personalized treatment opportunities in the disease”, says Ingrid Kockum.

More than 50,000 MS patients and 30,000 healthy individuals are included in the project, which builds on the foundations and research networks laid out by earlier consortia such as the Nordic MS genetics network, the International MS Genetics Consortium (IMSGC) and International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC).