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ECTRIMS 2022 | Emerging MS research: PIRA & prediction models

João José Cerqueira, MD, PhD, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal, discusses unmet research needs in multiple sclerosis (MS). To improve the treatment of MS patients, the mechanisms behind progression independent of relapses (PIRA) must be fully understood. The field is now gathering more evidence about the contribution of the immune cells within the central nervous system to progression, and clinical trials on emerging disease-modifying therapies for MS, such as BTK inhibitors, hold promise in addressing progression. The availability of numerous therapy options requires good predictive models of disease to tailor the treatment strategy to each patient. However, the models developed until now are either too complex or not precise enough, representing an unmet need in the field. Importantly, the implementation of recent discoveries needs to be easily translated into clinical practice; however, this is not always observed and needs improvement. This interview took place at the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Congress 2022 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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JC has received consultancy fees from Biogen, Roche, Novartis, Almirall, Janssen, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, Merck and Zambon; and research grants from Biogen, Roche, Merck and Novartis, as well as the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology and Clinical Academic Centre Braga.