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Part 1 of 2016 Symposium: Introduction

David Bates, Gavin Giovannoni

The symposium “Do we still have unmet needs in MS therapy?” was sponsored by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. It was recorded at ECTRIMS 2016 in London.

Merck has financed the symposium, however the opinions and recommendations represent the independent views of the speakers and do not imply endorsement or recommendations by Merck. This symposium contains clinical trial data on medicines that are not presently approved by any health authority worldwide for the treatment of MS. The symposium goal is to explore unmet needs in MS therapy. In this introduction video, Dr Giovannoni comments on how the large selection of therapies with varying mechanisms of action adds complication in the clinic, particularly in increasing the time spent on pharmacovigilance and monitoring for side effects and efficacy in MS patients.

The three questions to be debated in this symposium are: Is there a need for: 1) an effective therapy without the risk of continuous immunosuppression? 2) a therapy that provides a low treatment frequency with a low monitoring burden? 3) a therapy that has direct activity on inflammation in the CNS? To help answer these questions, in Part 2 we hear from experts who will debate each question.