The MultipleMS Consortium has been granted €15M by the EU Horizon 2020 to improve the treatment of multiple sclerosis using personalized medicine.

The EU Horizon 2020 has kicked off the year with a project to develop, validate, and exploit methods for the personalized treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). The 21 institutions from 12 European countries and the US taking part in the MultipleMS Consortium, coordinated by the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, will receive €15M to study how genetic and non-genetic factors influence disease progression and response to therapy.

MS is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes disability in young people and represents a big economic burden. By using a multi omics approach that integrates genome, epigenome, proteome, metabolome and microbiome data, the project aims at stratifying the MS patient population to offer personalized treatments and optimize the outcome.

DNA microarray multi omics

DNA microarrays, which can analyze the expression levels of thousands of genes simultaneously, are often an essential part of multi omics analysis

As Jean-Pol Detiffe, CEO of OncoDNA, mentioned during a personalized medicine panel at Labiotech Refresh: “biology is complex and a successful test cannot only rely on genes”. The combination of biomarkers from multiple origins using multi omics might be the key for a new generation of successful diagnostics and treatments in personalized medicine.

In fact, this kind of approach is not new in other medical areas. The EU is trying to follow the steps of initiatives like the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC), the International Human Epigenome Consortium (IHEC) and the International Human Microbiome Consortium, which have produced big databases intended for the development of personalized medicine.

Notably, AstraZeneca‘s R&D arm MedImmune, which has a strong focus on personalized medicine, is one of the participants in this project. With big pharma backing the development of ever more efficient strategies, a future where patients are systematically matched with the most suitable treatment is getting closer every day.


Images by Science photo; Alila Medical Media/Shutterstock


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