An upcoming conference will explore new and emerging treatment options for multiple sclerosis (MS), focusing on the intersection between laboratory findings and clinical care, and the search for discoveries that may lead to important innovations in treating this neurological disease.
The daylong conference, open to academics, clinical researchers and industry leaders, is hosted by the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), and titled “Multiple Sclerosis: Diagnostic and Treatment Frontiers.” It will take place on June 28 at NYAS offices in Manhattan. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. is a main event sponsor.
Plenary sessions will cover current therapies; MS diagnostics, prognostics and predictive biomarkers; the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to diagnose and monitor patients; and emerging treatment data. A session on “Late-breaking Data Blitz Presentations,” looking at myelin-reactive T-cells and axonal damage, is also planned. Details on each session are available through this NYAS link.
Barry G. Arnason, MD, the James Nelson and Anna Louise Raymond Professor of Neurology at the University of Chicago will open the morning session with a 9 a.m. keynote address, titled “Unmet Treatment Needs across the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Disease Spectrum.”
Dr. Arnason has studied immunologic aspects of MS for 50 years, including T-cell function and nervous system-immune system interactions in MS patients and animal models. He has also participated in several clinical trials, including the pivotal study of Betaseron (interferon beta 1b), the first drug approved for the treatment of relapsing MS. Dr. Arnason was the recipient of the 2014 John Dystel Prize for his contributions to MS research, and has authored nearly 400 scientific publications, most of them related to MS.
Currently, researchers are working to identify biomarkers associated with MS to understand better the mechanisms behind disease development. Experts will also discuss technological advancements that might help to translate disease data into personalized treatments to slow disease progression.
“The major unmet need for multiple sclerosis treatment for progressive course is the necessity to understand the pathophysiology mechanism underlining the degenerative phase of the disease, which are probably multiple, including mitochondrial dysfunction, persisting demyelination, ionic channels abnormalities, and microglial activation,” Professor Giancarlo Comi, director of the Department of Neurology at Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, in Milan, Italy, and a conference speaker, said in a press release.
The conference will end with the panel discussion, “What the Future Holds: New Strategies, Perspectives, and Resolving Misconceptions,” featuring Dr. Arnason, Dr. Comi, and Susan A. Gauthier, DO, MPH, at Weill Cornell Medical College. Fred D. Lublin, MD, with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is the session’s moderator.
Sessions may also be followed through a webinar. Registration is required to attend the conference or take part in the webinar, and can be done using the NYAS link given above.
NYAS is an independent nonprofit organization with more than 20,000 members in 100 countries, established in 1817 to advance science, technology, and society worldwide.