Photo: Researcher working in lab

Expert Consortium for Progression in MS Clinical Trials

The Expert Consortium for Progression in MS Clinical Trials is an initiative to speed up the way we test potential treatments for MS progression by developing a clinical trials platform.

Background

Our number one goal is for everyone with MS to have access to effective treatments to slow, stop or reverse the accumulation of disability. An efficient clinical trials platform to rapidly identify and evaluate potential treatments for MS progression forms a key part of our Research Strategy.

In 2018, the Expert Consortium for Progression in MS Clinical Trials was launched. Its aim was to design and deliver an efficient clinical trials platform to speed up the development of treatments to slow and ultimately stop the progression of MS. The Expert Consortium currently has 63 members, consisting of members of the research community and people affected by MS.

The Expert Consortium was split broadly into two strategy areas:

  • Treatment selection
  • Trial design and delivery

The first team focused on identifying potential treatments for the trial. The second focused on design and methodology, outcome measures and infrastructure. We awarded the group funds to support work in these areas.

The Clinical Trials Platform

The aim of the Clinical Trials Platform is to provide a structure to evaluate repurposed and novel treatments more quickly and affordably. It will use an adaptive trial design, giving the MS community the potential to deliver trials as a rolling programme. The platform will learn from the success of novel trial designs in other fields. Such as the STAMPEDE trial in prostate cancer and I-SPY 2 trial in breast cancer. Both have delivered new treatments and revolutionised the way certain conditions are treated.

In 2019 we invited the Expert Consortium to apply as a collaborative group for a programme grant to bring together all the necessary elements to complete the design and set up an efficient clinical trials platform.

Professor Jeremy Chataway from UCL was appointed as the Chief Investigator. Professor Max Parmar, Director of the MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL, was appointed as the Lead Clinical trial Unit.

They've been working with the us and the Expert Consortium to lead the grant application submission. The application is currently being reviewed and the outcome is expected at the end of 2019.

Opportunities for researchers

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