Unified understanding of MS course is required for drug development

The treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) has evolved remarkably over the past 25 years. This progress has been enabled by advances in research, drug development and active engagement of the scientific community with regulatory authorities. However, an inconsistent approach to MS disease courses could have a negative impact on the drug development process.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    [No authors listed.] FDA approves new drug to treat multiple sclerosis. US Food and Drug Administration https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm549325.htm (2017).

  2. 2

    [No authors listed.] New medicine for multiple sclerosis. European Medicines Agency http://www.ema.europa.eu/ema/index.jsp?curl=pages/news_and_events/news/2017/11/news_detail_002847.jsp&mid=WC0b01ac058004d5c1 (2017).

  3. 3

    Lublin, F. D. et al. Defining the clinical course of multiple sclerosis: the 2013 revisions. Neurology 83, 278–286 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP). Guideline on Clinical Investigation of Medicinal Products for the Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis (European Medicines Agency, 2015).

  5. 5

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Ocrelizumab Summary Review. US Food and Drug Administration https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/nda/2017/761053Orig1s000SumR.pdf (2017).

Download references


A.J.T. acknowledges support from the UCL/UCLH National Institute of Health (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alan J. Thompson.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

A.J.T. is chair and T.C. a member of the International Progressive MS Alliance Scientific Steering Committee.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Coetzee, T., Thompson, A. Unified understanding of MS course is required for drug development. Nat Rev Neurol 14, 191–192 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrneurol.2017.184

Download citation


Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing