Funding Goal: AUD $50,000.00 CONTRIBUTE Milestones: $5,000.00 – Analysis of disability outcomes in B-cell therapies (rituximab, ocrelizumab) $10,000.00 – Evaluation of long-term disability outcomes $20,000.00 – Identification of patients who are likely to develop aggressive disease $50,000.00 – Identification of patients who would benefit from early aggressive therapy Note: All donations will be used to fund the above research milestones, regardless of the percentage of the funding goal reached. No donations will be returned. Introduction MStranslate has always had a commitment to keeping the multiple sclerosis community informed about research developments. We have decided to embark on a new part of that journey, helping to accelerate research by providing the public an opportunity to directly support it. Whilst great research is being conducted all the time around the world, the reality is that many projects that could benefit people living with multiple sclerosis aren’t undertaken due to a lack of funding. By establishing a platform for community funded research, we hope to achieve the following goals: Give the community greater input into the types of research studies that are funded. Accelerate research progress by providing a new avenue for studies to be funded. Provide more information to the community about ongoing research as it happens Over the coming months, you will hear directly from the researchers involved in our first campaign, as they discuss their aims, how the research will be undertaken and what the results of their investigations might mean for people living with multiple sclerosis. They will also be making themselves available to answer your questions to help you understand more about their work. To begin with, here is a little written summary of why this work is important and how it will be done. Research Project Overview: What is being funded? This research study, carried out by the University of Melbourne, aims to answer the following broad question: Does early treatment with more powerful therapies provide better outcomes for people living with multiple sclerosis? Why is this research important for people living with multiple sclerosis? For many people with multiple sclerosis, deciding on the most appropriate treatment can be difficult and stressful. This process often involves a choice between a less powerful option (i.e. first line treatments) that comes with fewer side-effects or a stronger treatment with more potential risks. How does one make a decision like this? In essence, it becomes a very individual decision of weighing up the benefits against the risks. However, in some countries, ‘aggressive’ therapy isn’t even available to people with MS before they experience disease progression on these less effective therapies. Whether we are talking about improving the decision making process or making all treatment options available for every person with multiple sclerosis, there are clearly questions that need to be answered about what will provide the best long-term outcomes for people with MS. COMING SOON: A video where MStranslate co-founder, Brett Drummond, chats about the above project with both Tomas and Bernd over coffee. How is this study being undertaken? MSBase is a large database that now contains clinical data from over 52,000 people living with MS around the world. This information is being collected from people who have been followed over a number of years, which means that long-term outcomes can now be examined. At the Clinical Outcomes Research Unit (CORe) at the University of Melbourne, researchers are translating these data into knowledge. This will allow the researchers to find answers to the following types of questions: Is there a difference in outcomes for people with multiple sclerosis who receive aggressive treatment early compared to those who start on first-line therapies? Is there a difference in outcomes for people with multiple sclerosis who receive aggressive treatment early in their disease compared to later? Research Team Overview: A/Prof Tomas Kalincik, Project Leader Dr Bernd Merkel, Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Charles Malpas, Research Fellow Dr Anna He, Research Associate Mr Nathaniel Lizak, Research Associate Support this Research Project: Become a Member of the Team Believe in the value of this research and want to help ensure it is progressed? Now you can! Tomas, Bernd and Nathaniel are excited to provide members of MStranslate’s online community an opportunity to direct and drive the future of this project. Using the giving form linked at the top of the page, you can make a contribution (of any value) to assist them reach their funding target of AUD $50,000.00. All contributors will be recognised and rewarded with regular updates on the progress and outcomes of the study.