2014 Challenge Grant round – now completed.
In 2014 the International Progressive MS Alliance awarded their first Challenge Awards to encourage scientific collaboration and innovation, and Infrastructure Awards to promote data sharing and knowledge management.
The funding helped forge international collaborative research networks — leveraging research already underway and stimulating new research.
A total of 20 projects with researchers based in nine countries, were awarded grants with the goal of removing barriers to developing treatments for progressive MS. The projects focused on six areas:
- Clinical trials and outcome measures
- Biomarkers (measurable indicators) of progression
- Gene studies
- Rehabilitation trials
- New disease models
- Research to better understand the pathology of progression.
The 20 projects were chosen from 195 research proposals submitted by researchers in 22 countries. These were then reviewed by the Alliance’s 40-strong Scientific Review Committee.
The RFA 1 round of Challenge Grants resulted in 16 publications, many in high impact journals, and at least 14 posters or abstracts presented progress in different priority areas.
The grants led directly to the creation of the global collaboration networks that are now working on the most promising projects to come out of the RFA 1 round of challenge grants.
The initial investment of €225k resulted in an additional €11.5 million follow-on investment in the research produced.
On an organisational level, the grants established the global resolve to end progressive MS and improved donor confidence and catalysed influential networks of actors to focus on this pressing problem.