National Multiple Sclerosis Society Invests Over $21 Million to Fund New MS Research

Patricia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patricia Silva, PhD |

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The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has dedicated over $21 million to fund 78 new multiple sclerosis (MS) research studies as part of a broad research plan designed to address MS, re-establish  lost functioning caused by the disease in patients, and ultimately end the disease forever.

This recent round of investment into MS research is the newest in the Society’s ongoing efforts to continue to advance toward improved treatments and an eventual cure for MS — part of a planned asset allocation of over $53 million in 2015 alone to sponsor more than 380 new and ongoing MS investigations worldwide. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is committed to pursuing encouraging research with a focus on areas such as progressive MS, repair of the nervous system, gene/environmental MS risk factors, and lifestyle and well-being.

“These new grants are part of a comprehensive strategy to accelerate research that will propel the knowledge to end MS and identify everyday solutions that change the lives of people with MS,” said Cynthia Zagieboylo, president and CEO of the National MS Society in a news release.

One of the novel pioneering research projects is a research study being conducted at Baylor College of Medicine that is investigating a protein thought to be involved in the repair of myelin and substitution of lost nerve cells — two actions that may help improve progressive MS’ disease course. Another project is underway at University of Glasgow, investigating whether adult stem cells from the nose can be a potential target for the repair of nervous system tissue. Finally, another National MS Society-funded investigation at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital is examining if certain brain circuits are involved in fatigue, a common and disabling MS symptom. In addition, three new commercial collaborations are driving the development of therapies to target progressive MS.

To identify the best investigation with the highest therapeutic potential, the National MS Society consults with over 130 world leading researchers who offer their time to assess hundreds of research proposals every year. This demanding assessment process ensures that the MS Society funding fuels investigations that deliver results in the shortest amount of time possible.

It is important to note that there are FDA-approved treatments that can be effective in the disease course of patients with the more common MS types; however, none of these therapies have been found to stop or reverse disease progression and to restore normal function.This new funding from the National MS Society hopes to contribute to new solutions for MS patients with unmet medical needs in the future.