Funding will go to six recipients of the Challenges in Progressive MS Awards and nine to the Innovation in Well-Being Awards.
Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) is the most common form of MS and is characterized by episodes of new or worsening symptoms followed by a period of recovery. Progressive forms of MS are less common and include secondary-progressive MS (SPMS), primary-progressive MS (PPMS), and progressive-relapsing MS (PRMS).
SPMS is a progression of RRMS. With SPMS, there is a steady worsening of MS-related symptoms. People who have PPMS experience gradual disease progression from the start without recovery periods. In PRMS, there is a gradual worsening of symptoms and disability from the beginning, with some relapsing periods.
Currently, there is a dearth of treatment options available for people living with progressive forms of MS. Part of the challenge in treatment development stems from a lack of understanding of how the disease progresses.
The International Progressive MS Alliance recently announced it is granting over 4.6 million euros (about $5 million) to fund two major initiatives that address the necessity of treatments for individuals with progressive forms of MS.
Funding will go to six recipients of the Challenges in Progressive MS Awards and nine of the Innovation in Well-Being Awards.
The Challenges in Progressive MS Awards will accelerate findings from previous research that received funding in 2021. These projects are exploring mechanisms that drive the progression of the disease and will focus on the following areas of progressive MS: new insights into axonal loss, molecular pathways that promote neuronal repair and protection, and investigating potential treatments to slow progression.
The three-year research projects are expected to begin in early 2024 and report results in 2027.
The Innovations in Well-Being Awards are the first phase of a large-scale research program focusing on some of the most challenging symptoms experienced by people living with progressive forms of MS. These include pain, fatigue, mobility issues, and impaired cognition.
The Innovations in Well-Being Awards recipients will begin work in early 2024 and report findings in mid-2025.
A list of all award recipients for both initiatives can be found here.