Novartis announces results of MS Progression Discussion Tool

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Novartis has announced results from a validation study of the algorithm-based digital solution MS Progression Discussion Tool, or MSProDiscussTM. The tool aims to support and facilitate a discussion between physicians and patients living with multiple sclerosis (MS) who have transitioned, or are at risk of transitioning from relapsing remitting MS (RRMS) to secondary progressive MS (SPMS).

Diagnosing SPMS can be challenging but if carried out in a timely manner, could help to prevent further irreversible damage. The study findings, presented at the 2019 American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting (AAN) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, support the validity and potential use of MSProDiscussTM to help evaluate and discuss early signs suggestive of progression in clinical practice.

MS neurologists in the United States, Canada, and Germany tested the tool with 198 patients with a diagnosis of RRMS, SPMS or a suspected transition to SPMS. In the validation study, physicians went through a series of weighted questions with the patients based on their experience in the last six months. The questions aim to gather information on symptoms and how they impact daily life and activities.

Once completed, the algorithm generated a visual output that the physicians could use to facilitate a discussion around the level of disease progression. The results from the validation study demonstrated that MSProDiscussTM was able to differentiate between RRMS and SPMS patients with high sensitivity and specificity and thus also inform about patients in transition.

The tool is in final development stage and undergoing pilot-testing in several US centres. The worldwide roll-out is planned for early 2020. The tool is housed on neuro-compass, the independent educational MS site, and can be accessed via the link

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition affecting the central nervous system. Read up on this therapy area and watch David Martin, Chief Executive of MS Trust share his challenge to the pharmaceutical industry in Pf in Conversation.

“One of the greatest challenges in MS is diagnosing the transition from RRMS to SPMS as the course of the disease is unique for every MS patient,” said Tjalf Ziemssen, MD, Professor at the Center of Clinical Neuroscience, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden University of Technology, Dresden, Germany, and study investigator. “The study results are a promising step toward having a scientifically-validated tool for clinical use that can facilitate physician-patient conversations and ultimately help to get ahead of MS progression.”

“With this innovative digital tool, we aim to reimagine clinical practice for neurologists and MS patients. Through harnessing high quality data and analytics, MSProDiscussTM was developed in collaboration with renowned MS researchers, physicians and patients and is a testament to the Novartis commitment to improve the lives of MS patients beyond the development of drugs,” said Danny Bar-Zohar, Global Head of Neuroscience Development, Novartis Pharmaceuticals.