Co-ordinated by Karolinska Institute in Sweden, the MultipleMS consortium has been awarded €15 million from the European Commission in the Horizon2020 programme to find novel and better treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS).
In this project, universities and companies across 12 European countries and the US will unite efforts to tailor the development and application of therapies to the individual MS patient.
BC Platforms has been chosen to supply the technical engine for the project and will provide its software to researchers for data integration, analysis, sharing and collaboration in a secure environment. The Platform chosen for the project is based on the BC|GENOME product, and uses the BC|TILING module for super scalable data storage and analysis. In addition, BC Platforms will provide database training, maintenance and ongoing user support throughout the project.
MS is an immune-mediated disease and a leading cause of non-traumatic disability in young adults in Europe, affecting more than 2 million persons worldwide. MS is a highly heterogeneous disease and a cure for MS is not yet available. As the result, current treatments vary strongly from patient to patient, and predicting the specific beneficial treatment for each patient would improve disease management.
“What is truly unique about this project is the scale of the partnership and the huge amount and different kinds of patient data that will be combined. Our novel approach is to take the multifaceted nature of MS as the starting point for identifying personalised treatment opportunities in MS,” Professor Ingrid Kockum of KI, co-ordinator of the project, stated.
“The choice of BC technology for this challenging project combining multiple data sources of data it a testament to our successful track record in delivering results in these types of large consortium projects during the last 20 years and to the confidence researchers place in BC Platform’s ability to deliver functional results. We are proud to have been selected for a project of this magnitude and to be able to contribute to finding treatments for this devastating disease,” said CEO Tero Silvola of BC Platforms.”
“The project builds on the foundations and research networks laid out by earlier consortia such as the Nordic MS genetics network, the International MS Genetics Consortium (IMSGC) and International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC).”
“The project will combine a variety of data, such as, clinical, genetic, epigenetic, molecular, MRI and lifestyle data from more than 50,000 MS patients and 30,000 healthy individuals to elucidate differential disease characteristics in patients,” Professor Kockum says.
In parallel with the integration of the collectively available data, a sample of newly diagnosed patients will be followed longitudinally, resulting in a harmonised cohort to verify the lead findings. Based on this integrated information, the aim is that both existing and new treatments can be personalised based on characteristics and biomarkers in individual patients.