MS International Federation’s strategic plan identifies progressive MS as one of the three priorities for our international research, alongside pediatric MS and stem cells.

Progressive MS is also a focus for our global fundraising strategy.

Although there is dramatic and life-changing progress in the understanding and treatment of relapsing remitting MS, the discoveries that will lead to treatment for progressive MS have remained elusive.

This situation is unacceptable for people with MS, their families, and all those that care for and about people affected by MS. It is imperative that the global MS community drive the development of new treatment options.

The Progressive MS Alliance was initially established in 2012, by the MS International Federation and its other founding members (the MS societies of Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA) as the International Progressive MS Collaborative.

In September 2013 the founding members entered into a memorandum of understanding, formally establishing the Alliance.

Later that year, the Alliance brought together MS experts to identify the priorities to overcoming the barriers to progress.

As a result, the Alliance is focused on four research priority areas needed to provide the breakthrough treatments:

  • Better understand progression so we can identify and test treatments
  • Design shorter, faster trials that measure patient outcomes
  • Conduct trials to test agents
  • Develop and evaluate new therapies to manage symptom

The Alliance issued its first request for applications for research into progressive MS in 2013, announced the first round of grants at ECTRIMS in September 2014, and then issued its second request for applications in November 2014.

On 27 November 2014 we hosted a webinar on progressive MS with Professor Alan Thompson and Dr Olga Ciccarelli from the Institute of Neurology in London. You can watch it below or read the transcript.