National MS Society Announces $28 Million Funding For Research

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by Patricia Silva, PhD |

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National Multiple Sclerosis SocietyThe National Multiple Sclerosis Society has announced it will grant $28 million to 84 new research projects and training awards focused on multiple sclerosis (MS).

The new financial support is included in the society’s comprehensive research strategy, which was designed to not only end MS, but also restore patients’ quality of life and stop disease progression.

These new grants are in line with the mission of the National MS Society to support research towards addressing MS all over the world. The society plans to invest more than $52 million throughout the current year, financing about 380 projects in the field of progressive MS, nervous system repair, gene or environmental risk factors, and wellness and lifestyle.

“These innovative new projects add to the Society’s comprehensive efforts to stop MS, restore function and end MS forever,” stated the executive vice president for research at the National MS Society, Bruce Bebo.  “While we fund more research than any other MS organization in the world, we also convene and empower the research community toward breakthroughs that can help people with MS live their best lives now.”

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Some of the projects already supported by the National MS Society’s new funding include research conducted at the University of California, San Francisco on the gut microbiome to help develop probiotic strategies to stop disease progression, as well as a pilot trial on the tolerability of a diet comprised of restricted calorie consumption, conducted at Johns Hopkins University. The MS Society also plans to award funding to both a pre-clinical research project on the potential of a compound that may protect the nervous system and enable reparation of nerve-insulating myelin, conducted by Bionure, and the establishment of a collaborative center at Oregon Health & Science University dedicated to provide programs focused on patients’ wellness while enhancing patient’s quality of life, are also going to be awarded by the society.

“MS research is a top National MS Society priority, with increasing annual investments to drive solutions for every person with MS,” continued the president and CEO of the Society, Cynthia Zagieboylo. “We fund the entire research spectrum, propelling novel ideas into the lab, translating breakthroughs into clinical trials, and moving success in clinical trials into new treatments for people living with MS.”

Since there is currently no cure for MS and the medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat the underlying causes of the disease cannot stop disease progression or reverse damage caused by the disease, the National MS Society wants to support projects able to find more effective treatments, as well as improve the lives of  2.3 million MS patients worldwide.

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