In conventional trials, one group of people receive the drug that is being tested and another group called a ‘control’ group take either an existing treatment available for MS or an inactivated placebo. The Octopus trial will see a number of drugs which are already on the market for other illnesses being compared to one placebo group. By merging a number of trials into one, it is possible to test treatments up to three times faster.
MRI scans will be used to get an understanding of whether or not a drug looks like it has potential. Promising drugs will stay in the trial and those that don’t show promise can be dropped from the trial and replaced by another drug as they are discovered.
This trial, will be led by Professor Jeremy Chataway and Professor Mahesh Parmar from the University College London. It follows a very successful fundraising campaign by MS Society UK.
More information can be found here: