The International Progressive MS Alliance has awarded its second round of 11 grants to collaborative teams of scientists, focused on building the cooperative networks crucial to removing barriers in treatment development for progressive MS. The Alliance is a growing worldwide collaborative focused on finding solutions to progressive forms of multiple sclerosis that have so far eluded the scientific community.
Focused investment in finding treatments and solutions for progressive MS, this second round of funding launches a focused program that will ultimately develop the collaborative worldwide research networks that will accelerate progress in three key areas:
- Development of pre-clinical drug candidates for progressive MS
- Development of meaningful outcomes measures, such as biomarkers, for early clinical integration
- Initiation of clinical trials of new interventions
Together with these awards, the Alliance funded 22 international projects just last year, all part of an ambitious program that will cumulatively invest €22 million, or nearly $25 million, over the next five years.
An impressive 52 applications, involving almost 500 investigators worldwide, were received for consideration of the 12-month Collaborative Network Planning Awards, a €50,000 (nearly $57,000) planning grant. The 11 selected projects will have the opportunity to subsequently apply in 2016 for one of three 4-year, €4.2 million ($4.75 million) grants for the operation of a collaborative network.
“The global commitment to collaboratively addressing—and overcoming—the barriers to developing solutions in progressive MS is inspiring the entire world to do more” said Cynthia Zagieboylo, Chair of the Alliance Executive Committee and CEO of the National MS Society (USA). “The world is united in ways previously thought impossible to find the solutions the progressive MS community urgently needs.”
The world’s leading researchers and institutions are focused on finding answers. The 11 second-round projects will be directed by some of the world’s leading thought leaders and MS scientists, leveraging the strength of world-renowned institutions and existing networks and knowledge centers. For more information on each grant please visit: www.ProgressiveMSAlliance.org.
During the review process, opportunities for collective synergies between some of the highest rated applications were identified. Four of the lead investigators from the funded planning grants agreed to work with other networks as well, recognizing the opportunity to leverage work on similar and complementary projects.