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Part 3 of 2016 Symposium: What are we looking for in a MS therapy?

Heinz Wiendl, Germany


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.

MS is associated with a high disease-burden, in particular, treatment and monitoring burdens have increased with new therapies. Dr Wiendl reviews how the treatment landscape has become increasingly complex—choosing the best therapy among many for each patient is challenging. Mixed in are different perspectives between patients and physicians coupled with the need to manage treatment goals that change as the patient progresses along the disease continuum. He discusses the NEDA criteria’s value in evaluating disease activity, and states that biomarkers will help us take this evaluation to the next level. Early diagnosis and meeting early treatment goals are important in influencing long-term outcomes.

Long-term benefits and risks must be balanced and should optimise safety to minimise the risk of infections and malignancies. Treatments should have durability and effectiveness should be monitored over time as they can lose efficacy. Treatments should have well-characterised long-term safety profiles. They should have a low treatment and management burden to promote adherence.