PCORI Board Approves $83 Million for Research on Multiple Sclerosis, Hepatitis C and Rare Diseases

PCORI Board Approves $83 Million for Research on Multiple Sclerosis, Hepatitis C and Rare Diseases
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The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Board of Governors recently approved an $83 million grant to support 26 patient-centered, comparative effectiveness clinical research (CER) studies on a range of diseases and patient groups.

Two of these grants, totaling $29.5 million, will fund research into the care of patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is considered a major health problem. Grants with a sum of $7.4 million will support studies on rare diseases in response to PCORI’s offer of a special funding pool to support research on rare conditions, including genetic disorders, non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis and syringomyelia (a neurological condition), among others.

The new CER clinical studies on HCV seek to compare the trade-offs of diverse oral antiviral medications regimens and different methods to improve treatment adherence in those who use injection drugs. “We heard from many people—including individuals with hepatitis C as well as clinicians who treat them, the pharmaceutical industry, payers and others—that with the great promise offered by new antiviral medications, there are also many questions about hepatitis C therapies and care delivery that need to be answered,” said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH in a news release. “As the availability and use of the new antiviral medications increases, we’re pleased to support patient-centered CER that will help clinical decision makers to make better-informed choices about hepatitis C treatment and care.”

The Board has also approved PCORI’s development of support for research on treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) and the long-term use of opioids for people with chronic pain. Four CER studies focused on MS will be funded, namely a study assessing the discontinuation of disease modifying therapies (DMTs) in MS patients, a study on a model to improve patient engagement and data integration with PCORI’s research networks, a study focused on the MS Patient-Powered Research Network (MS-PPRN) iConquerMS™ which goal is to advance patient-centered research, and a project centered on the development of a patient-led MS research community.

This fall, PCORI will provide more details regarding research in MS care. The CER studies on MS will be granted up to $50 million to investigate the comparative effectiveness of different disease-modifying treatments and whether tele-health could be as effective as standard direct care.

Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.
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Patrícia holds her PhD in Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases from the Leiden University Medical Center in Leiden, The Netherlands. She has studied Applied Biology at Universidade do Minho and was a postdoctoral research fellow at Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal. Her work has been focused on molecular genetic traits of infectious agents such as viruses and parasites.
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