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SOURCE National Multiple Sclerosis Society
-- Awards advance Society's NOW Campaign goals to protect and restore nerve-insulating myelin damaged by multiple sclerosis and bring about recovery of function for people living with the disease
NEW YORK, Sept. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has just committed $7 million to support 15 new research projects focusing on innovative approaches to repair the coating of myelin that protects nerve fibers and which is destroyed by the MS disease process. Finding ways to restore and protect the damaged nervous system is a key priority of National MS Society No Opportunity Wasted (NOW) Campaign research to stop the disease in its tracks, to restore function, and ultimately end MS forever. These new investments, in both commercial therapeutics and academic research, expand the Society's comprehensive portfolio to 88 current research projects focusing on repairing the nervous system in people with MS, with multi-year commitments totaling $37.8 million.
"The idea of rebuilding the nervous system and protecting it from ongoing MS damage was a just dream a few years ago," noted Dr. Timothy Coetzee, Chief Research Officer of the National MS Society. "Now, because of efforts by the research community as well as focused investments by the Society, we can see a future where people with MS will have treatments that could restore what's been lost," he added.
The Society's new commercial investments in drug development through Fast Forward include:
The Society's new commitments to academic researchers include:
Momentum in the challenging field of myelin repair has been building since the National MS Society's 2005 global initiative funded four collaborative teams focusing on nervous system protection and repair, which was funded through the Society's Promise: 2010 campaign. Achieving success would provide life-changing advances for people with MS as it could allow us to stop disease progression and restore neurological function for people with all types of MS, including progressive forms of the disease.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body.
About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Fast Forward, LLC
The Society mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. To fulfill this mission, the Society funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, facilitates professional education, collaborates with MS organizations around the world, and provides programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. In 2012 alone, through its home office and 50-state network of chapters, the Society devoted $122.1 million to programs and services that assisted more than one million people. To move us closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested $43.3 million to support more than 350 new and ongoing research projects around the world. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. Join the movement at www.nationalMSsociety.org.
Fast Forward, LLC was established by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society as part of a comprehensive approach to MS research and treatment, focusing on accelerating commercial development of promising research discoveries. Through Fast Forward, the Society connects university-based MS research with private-sector drug development and funds small biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies to develop innovative new MS therapies and repurpose FDA-approved drugs as new treatments for MS. For more information, please visit or more information, please visit www.nationalmssociety.org/fast-forward//index.aspx.
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