Peer-to-peer, clinically relevant, evidence-based medical educational programs – such as this acadeMe Medical Education program – filmed at the 2019 acadeMe MS Annual Conference – Management of MS: Let’s Get Personal- are critically important in our efforts to address the unmet medical education needs of the healthcare professionals responsible for the care of patients with MS. The aim of this educational resource is to enable healthcare professionals to make better-informed diagnostic and treatment decisions, ultimately resulting in improved MS patient outcomes.

Advantages and disadvantages of the updated McDonald criteria for MS diagnosis

PROFESSOR GAVIN GIOVANNONI

Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK

Professor Gavin Giovannoni gives his opinion on the implications of the 2017 McDonald criteria on the diagnosis of patients with multiple sclerosis. Professor Giovannoni also describes the impact of the criteria on the treatment of different patient populations, such as those with clinically isolated syndrome or radiologically isolated syndrome.

Is MS one disease?

PROFESSOR GAVIN GIOVANNONI

Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK

Professor Gavin Giovannoni shares his views on the hypothesis versus concept of multiple sclerosis being one disease. Professor Giovannoni emphasizes the impact of treating the disease early and gives patient examples of why this is important to improve long-term brain health and patient outcomes.

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Factors influencing treatment decisions in relapsing MS

DR ESTER MORAL

Moisés Broggi Hospital, Barcelona, Spain

Dr Ester Moral describes the factors that need to be considered when making treatment choices for patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis. Dr Moral then expands on the impact of cognition on decision-making in the current era of multiple sclerosis treatment.

The future of treatment in advanced MS

PROFESSOR KLAUS SCHMIERER

Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK

Professor Klaus Schmierer outlines the characteristics of advanced MS and discusses the use of the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) as an outcome tool in clinical trials. Professor Schmierer then provides an overview of two studies that have the potential to change the treatment landscape for patients in the advanced stages of the disease.

Current treatment for primary progressive MS

PROFESSOR LAURA AIRAS

University of Turku, Turku, Finland

Professor Laura Airas describes the current treatment options for patients with primary progressive multiple sclerosis based on data from randomized clinical trials. Professor Airas also explains why taking an individualized approach to treatment is important in these patients.

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Towards personalized management of MS

PROFESSOR GAVIN GIOVANNONI

Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK

Professor Gavin Giovannoni provides an overview of personalized medicine in the context of multiple sclerosis and gives several examples of how the risks associated with treatment may be reduced on an individual patient level. Professor Giovannoni empathizes the need to target multiple sclerosis-specific and
-non-specific mechanisms that are unique to the individual patient in order to improve long-term brain health and optimize outcomes.

Moving towards precision management of MS

PROFESSOR HANNE F. HARBO

Oslo University Hospital and University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

Professor Hanne Harbo provides an overview of precision medicine in the context of multiple sclerosis, before detailing the aims and methodology of the MultipleMS project. The project, funded by the EU Horizon 2020 programme, is a large, two-stage, collaborative endeavour that consists of a retrospective analysis of data from ~55,000 patients with multiple sclerosis and a prospective study utilising a multi-omics approach.

What is the ‘MultipleMS’ project?

PROFESSOR HANNE F. HARBO

Oslo University Hospital and University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

Professor Hanne Harbo provides an overview of the MultipleMs project, a collaborative endeavour between 19 contributing groups and 12 countries. The large, two-stage project combining retrospective analyses and a prospective study, aims to identify biomarkers that will help to personalize the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

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The impact of technology on the management of MS

PROFESSOR PAUL M. MATTHEWS

Imperial College London, London, UK

Professor Paul Matthews describes how technology is transforming the approaches taken in the management of multiple sclerosis, such as being able to monitor behaviour and feelings on a regular, ongoing basis rather than relying on episodic consultations. Professor Matthews also shares the new technology he is most excited about and emphasizes that evolving technology will continue to change the way multiple sclerosis is assessed and treated in the future.

Future perspectives: What will the MS patient look like in 2029?

PROFESSOR PAUL M. MATTHEWS

Imperial College London, London, UK

Professor Paul Matthews discusses the increasing interest in technology, such as artificial intelligence and how it can transform the way MS patients can be diagnosed and managed. Professor Matthews provides an overview of ‘big data’ initiatives, such as the OPTIMISE:MS project. This project will enable large-scale capturing and sharing of real-world clinical and patient data at a low cost, helping to gain a better understanding of MS factors and develop more personalized therapeutic approaches.

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Highlights video

“acadeMe” is a knowledge forum for HCPs with a focus on development, access and exchange of high-quality non-promotional learning. It enables participants to grow their professional networks amongst a collaboration of like-minded professionals in the Multiple Sclerosis community, allowing them to make better-informed diagnostic and treatment decisions.

The “acadeMe” approach is to focus on practice-based issues rather than informing about products, with content that is scientifically rigorous and free from commercial bias.

This is confirmed by the numerous “acadeMe” live and online programs in Multiple Sclerosis planned throughout the year: Multiple Sclerosis Preceptorships, Masterclasses, Theory and Practice workshops, Conferences.

Expert Faculty

PROFESSOR GAVIN GIOVANNONI

DR ESTER MORAL

PROFESSOR KLAUS SCHMIERER

PROFESSOR LAURA AIRAS

PROFESSOR HANNE F. HARBO

PROFESSOR PAUL M. MATTHEWS

PROFESSOR GAVIN GIOVANNONI

Professor Gavin Giovannoni is Chair of Neurology at the Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London and the Department of Neurology, Barts and The London NHS Trust. In 2008, he took over as Neuroscience and Trauma Centre Lead in the Blizard Institute.

Professor Giovannoni’s clinical interests are MS and other inflammatory disorders of the central nervous system. He is particularly interested in clinical issues related to optimizing MS disease-modifying drugs. His current research is focused on Epstein–Barr virus as a possible cause of MS, MS-related neurodegeneration, MS biomarker discovery, MS clinical outcomes measures, and immune tolerance strategies. Professor Giovannoni’s Barts MS Research Blog (www.ms-res.org) is one of the most influential resources on MS research news in the world, with around 6,000–9,000 readers a day.

Disclosures: Over the last 5 years Professor Giovannoni have received personal compensation for participating in advisory boards in relation to clinical trial design, trial steering committees, and data and safety monitoring committees from: AbbVie, Actelion, Atara Bio, Biogen, Celgene, Sanofi-Genzyme, Genentech, GSK, MSD, Merck, Novartis, Roche, Synthon BV and Teva

DR ESTER MORAL

Dr Ester Moral is Head of the Neurology Department at Moisés Broggi Hospital, Barcelona, Spain.

Dr Moral graduated with a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Barcelona and undertook her residency in Neurology at University Hospital Bellvitge, Barcelona in 2003. She completed specialist training in Demyelinating Diseases in the MS Unit there and at the MS Center, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She has been the Head of Neurology and Coordinator of the MS Unit at Moisés Broggi Hospital since 2010.

Dr Moral is also an Associate Professor at the University of Barcelona and has been member from the board of the Spanish Society of Neurology from 2006- 2012 and coordinator of the Demyelinating Disease Group of the Spanish Society of Neurology between 2012-2018. Her research interests include cognition and MS, environmental factors related to MS and the disease epidemiology.

Disclosures: Dr Moral has received financial compensation for attending congresses and having participated as an advisor and/or speaker for the following companies: Merck, Bayer, Teva, Sanofi-Genzyme, Biogen, Roche, Actelion. She has collaborated as a researcher in clinical trials conducted by: Merck, Teva, Sanofi-Genzyme, Biogen.

PROFESSOR KLAUS SCHMIERER

Professor Klaus Schmierer is a Reader in Clinical Neurology at The Blizard Institute, Queen Mary University of London, and a Consultant Neurologist at The Royal London Hospital of Barts Health NHS Trust, where he also serves as the Research Lead for Neurology.

He serves on the UK Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Clinical Trials Network, their Consortium for Progressive MS, the Advisory Board of the UK MS Register, and is the subspecialty lead for MS at the National Institute of Health Research North Thames Clinical Research Network. Professor Schmierer is a Past-Chair of the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine’s White Matter Study Group.

Ever since starting his career in neurology, Professor Schmierer maintained a clinical and research focus on demyelinating diseases, particularly MS. His clinical academic work includes research into the pathology & pathophysiology of MS, disease control and lack thereof, the (differential) diagnosis & monitoring of MS, and investigator-led and commercial clinical trials. He promotes a pro-active treatment approach at all stages of MS.

Disclosures: Member of the MAGNIFY-MS steering committee and MSGAN (Merck). Speaking honoraria from, and/or served in an advisory role for Biogen, Merck, Novartis, Roche, Teva. Remuneration for teaching activities from EXCEMED & MS Academy
Supported for attendance of meetings by Merck, Novartis, Roche. Research support from Barts Charity, Lipomed, Merck, Morris-Saady Charitable Trust, National Institute for Health Research, MS Society of Great Britain & Northern Ireland and National MS Society (US).

PROFESSOR LAURA AIRAS

Professor Laura Airas obtained her medical degree at the University of Turku, in Turku, Finland. After graduation, and after finishing her PhD on immunology and cell biology, she specialized in neurology, obtaining a neurology consultant status in 2001 and a docentship in neurology in 2007. She founded her own research group in 2002, studying the immunology of pregnancy in MS. Today she is leading a research group whose main aim is to elucidate the pathological mechanisms of progressive MS by using a multi-modal approach which includes PET-imaging, advanced MRI imaging, and soluble biomarker analysis. Laura Airas is an experienced clinician, and also well connected with scientists of different backgrounds (PET, metabolomics, immunology) and with excellent track records.

She spends half of her professional time as a clinical neurologist, consulting for MS-patients, and also actively participates in randomised clinical trials for MS. Laura Airas has authored over 90 peer-reviewed articles in international journals. Funding for the group comes from Finnish Academy, foundations and industry. In 2015 she received an international Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation (GMSI) award, and in 2016-2017 she spent an academic year as a visiting professor at Yale University. She is the first Professor of Neuroimmunology at the University of Turku since 2017, and Adjunct Professor of Neurology at Yale since 2019.

Disclosures: Professor Laura Airas received funding for travel or speaker honoraria from the following companies:MerckSerono, Speaker honoraria, Roche, Genzyme, Biogen. She participated in scientific advisory boards for Roche, Genzyme, Novartis and Merck. She received research support from MerckSerono and Genzyme, Finnish National Neurocenter, Governmental Research Grants (VTR) Academy of Finland, and Sigrid Juselius Foundation.

PROFESSOR HANNE F. HARBO

Hanne F. Harbo is Head of Department of Neurology at Division of Neuroscience at Oslo University Hospital and Professor at the Institute of Clinical Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Oslo, Norway.

Professor Harbo has MD, PhD and MHA degrees from the University of Oslo and is a specialist in clinical neurology. She has been principle investigator in many Norwegian and international translational MS research-projects, including genetic, molecular, gene-environment, genotype-phenotype and MRI- MS studies. She has been guest researcher in Cambridge, UK in 2003 and at UCSF, USA in 2011-2012.

Professor Harbo has been member of several international committees related to neurogenetic- and MS-research. She has been the leader and board member of the Norwegian Brain Council, which contributed strongly to the establishment of the first Norwegian Brain Plan in 2018. She is member of the Governance Group of the International MS Genetics Consortium (IMSGC), which has published many key papers in MS genetics. She is also member of the Executive Board and is work package leader of the ongoing EU-funded MultipleMS project, which aims to develop novel personalised medicine approaches for MS patients.

Disclosures: Research support from Research Council of Norway, Norwegian Health Authorities SE, University of Oslo, EU Horizon 2020, Biotek 2021. Travel support, honoraria for advice or lecturing from Biogen, Sanofi-Genzyme, Merck, Novartis, Roche, and Teva, and an unrestricted research grant from Novartis Norway.

PROFESSOR PAUL M. MATTHEWS

Paul Matthews, OBE, DPhil, FRCP, FMedSci is the Edmond and Lily Safra Professor of Translational Neuroscience and Therapeutics, Head of the Division of Brain Sciences, an Associate Director of the UK Dementia Research Institute and an Associate Director of the Data Science Institute at Imperial College London. He is an NIHR Senior Investigator. Since 2009, he has been on the Steering Committee of UK Biobank and chairs the Imaging Enhancement Working Group, which has supported UK Biobank for creating the world’s largest imaging epidemiological dataset. He recently has led the development of the OPTIMISE Pharmacovigilance Study, an academic initiated academic-industry partnership to prospectively acquire real world date concerning the safety of disease modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis. His laboratory-based research addresses neuroinflammatory mechanisms of neurodegeneration in dementia and progressive multiple sclerosis.

Previously, Matthews spent almost 9 years as a Vice President in GlaxoSmithKline, holding a variety of senior portfolios, including those for the GSK Clinical Imaging Centre and the later Global Imaging Group. He founded the Oxford FMRIB Centre, which he directed from 1995-2005. He now sits on the Scientific Advisory Board for Ipsen Pharmaceuticals and regularly acts an external consultant for pharma and academic centres. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, a Fellow by Special Election of St Edmund Hall, Oxford and a Fellow of the Academea Europea. He was awarded an OBE in 2008 for services to Neuroscience.

Disclosures: Paul Matthews acknowledges consultancy fees from Roche, Adelphi Communications, Celgene and Biogen. He has received honoraria or speakers’ honoraria from Novartis, Biogen, Merck and Roch. He has received research or educational funds from Biogen, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and Nodthera Ltd. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board to the Board of Ipsen Pharmaceuticals.

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