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CONy 2020 | The benefits of treatments with minimal scientific basis in MS

Gavin Giovannoni, MBBCh, PhD, FCP, FRCP, FRCPath, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK, discusses the benefits of using therapies that do not have a strong scientific basis for treating multiple sclerosis (MS). Most of the treatments for MS are repurposed from cancer or other autoimmune diseases. Without individual investigation, a scientific case cannot be made. Prof. Giovannoni mentions that innovations in therapies start from treatments that do not have a strong scientific basis and in order to transition to a regulatory phase, treatments must be investigated in a pre-regulatory phase. This interview took place during the Virtual World Congress on Controversies in Neurology (CONy) 2020.


Over the last 20 years, Professor Giovannoni has received personal compensation for participating on Advisory Boards in relation to multiple sclerosis clinical trial design, trial steering committees and data and safety monitoring committees from Abbvie, Actelion, Almirall, Atara Bio, Bayer-Schering Healthcare, Biogen, Bristol Myers Squibb, Canbex, Celgene, Eisai, Elan, Fiveprime, Genentech, GSK, GW Pharma, Ironwood, Janssen, Merck, Merck-Serono, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi-Genzyme, Synthon BV, Teva, UCB Pharma and Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Professor Giovannoni is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders and chairs the MS Brain Health initiative, MS Academy and triMS.online conference. He has previously been a member of the multiple sclerosis and related disorders specialist advisory group of the Association of British Neurologists and an ECTRIMS representative. He is a director of Oxford Health Policy Forum, a nonprofit social enterprise.