MSIF has awarded the 2019 Young Investigators Award to Dr Floor C. Loonstra, in recognition of her research into infusion-related events during natalizumab treatment.

The Young Investigators Award is given for the best oral presentation of a ‘translational’ project (i.e. research that is designed to improve health and wellbeing) by a young researcher at the annual congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research into Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS), which was held in Stockholm, Sweden this year.

The winner, who receives a £1,500 prize, is selected by a panel appointed by the MS International Federation.

Dr Loonstra’s presentation was titled “Infusion-related events during natalizumab: no need for post-infusion monitoring”. Since natalizumab (NTZ) can trigger infusion-related reactions, MS patients are being monitored during and after every NTZ infusion according to EMA and FDA recommendations. In this project, Dr Loonstra aimed to understand the nature of the specific reaction and the need for intervention during NTZ administration. Studying 225 patients with relapsing remitting MS, over 14,000 infusions were carried out, but only 276 infusion-related adverse events (2 %) occurred in 60 patients. A few moderate adverse events happened during infusion. None of the reactions that occurred after the infusion required intervention.

This study is important because it shows that post infusion monitoring is not necessary in patients who do not have an adverse event during infusion. These findings have direct benefits to MS patients and MS clinics, where patients have to spend less time in the hospital, which also saves the clinic’s resources.


Photo copyright: ECTRIMS (European Committee for Treatment and Research in MS;