All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for November 2003

Towards a European Network for Multiple Sclerosis Trials (ENMST)

Multiple Sclerosis, 1 December 2003, vol. 9, no. 6, pp. 627-629(3)
Kappos L.[1]; Polman C.[2]; Thompson A.J.[3]; Duda P.[1]; Clanet M.[4]; Comi G.[5]; Hartung H.P.[6]; Montalban X.[7]
[1] Outpatient Clinic Neurology-Neurosurgery, University Hospitals, Basel, Switzerland [2] Department of Neurology, Free University VU Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands [3] Department of Neurology, The National Hospital, London, UK [4] Department of Neurology, CHU Hôpital Purpan, Toulouse, France [5] Centro Sclerosi Multipla, Ospedale San Raffaele, Milan, Italy [6] Department of Neurology, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany [7] Department of Neuroimmunology, University Hospitals, Vall d'Hebron, Spain

Quality standards for clinical studies in the field of multiple sclerosis (MS) have improved significantly, to the great benefit of patients.

This development has been accompanied by soaring costs and ever increasing complexity, with industry-independent trials having become virtually impossible.

We propose establishing a European network that would include expertise in all the relevant aspects of MS treatment trials.

In a stepwise approach, all interested active centres across Europe should be recruited into the network, based on agreement upon common scientific standards and quality requirements.

Three main goals are discussed:

to facilitate identification of potentially useful agents for MS treatment;

to establish protocols for the interaction between investigators and industry; and

to identify common standards and a core set of data to allow for comparisons of MS trials.

Collaboration with existing international organizations and institutions, especially the Sylvia Lawry Centre for MS Research, as well as with similar initiatives in North America and other parts of the world is envisaged.