More MS news articles for Sep 2001

$18 Million Awarded For New MS Research Projects

September 14, 2001

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has just committed $18 million to support 60 new research projects by top scientists investigating many aspects of multiple sclerosis (MS). Added to present commitments, the Society has spent nearly $30 million this year to fund over 300 new and ongoing MS investigations – more MS research than any voluntary health organization in the world – to cure, treat, and better understand this unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. Summaries of the projects can be found in the Fall 2001 issue of “New Research.”

“We’re excited by the promise these new projects hold for bringing answers to MS,” says Stephen C. Reingold, PhD, Vice President of Research Programs.  “We’ve invested $320 million to find the cause and cure for MS since our founding 55 years ago – an investment into basic and clinical research that is responsible for the rapid progress we’re seeing now.”

There are four drugs on the U.S. market (Avonex, Betaseron,Copaxone and Novantrone) that can impact the underlying disease course in people with the more common forms of MS. But none of these drugs can stop or reverse the disease. The Society funded basic research that led to the development of several of these drugs, and continues to advance research that will help end the devastating effects of MS.

One newly-funded project supports the international Sylvia Lawry Centre in Munich, Germany, analyzing and mining drug trial data to speed the development of new treatments. Another new project, based at the Harvard School of Public Health, is the largest study ever conducted to find possible risk factors that lead to MS.

Funds for research awards are provided in large part by contributors to the nationwide network of local chapters of the National MS Society, which also provide programs in communities across the U.S.