Who We Are

The main objective of MultipleMS is to develop novel personalised medicine approaches for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Our goal is timely, not only because there is an urgent need for precision management of MS but also because necessary knowledge, methodologies and vast multi-layer data resources are now available.



MultipleMS has 22 partners originating from 15 countries, with the main hub at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. The consortium will grow by addition of new centres of excellence during the project phase.


  1. Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Centre for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm SE

  2. Mabtech AB (Swedish biotech company), Stockholm SE

  3. YouHealth AB (Swedish bioinformatics company), Stockholm SE

  4. Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM), University of Helsinki, Helsinki FI

  5. Biocomputing Platforms Oy, (Finnish bioinformatics company), Espoo FI

  6. Department of Neurology, University of Oslo, Oslo NO

  7. Department of Neurology, Danish Multiple Sclerosis Center, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen DK

  8. TUM School of Medicine, Technical University of Munich, Munich DE

  9. Department of Neurosciences, KU Leuven, Leuven BE

  10. Department of Cancer Biology, University College London, London UK

  11. MedImmune (AstraZeneca), Cambridge UK

  12. Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge UK

  13. European Molecular Biology Laboratory, European Bioinformatics Institute, Hinxton UK

  14. NEURIX (Swiss biotech company), Geneva CH

  15. Institut d’Investigacions Biomediques August Pi Sunye (IDIBAPS), Barcelona ES

  16. Laboratory of Human Genetics of Neurological Disoders and Department of Neurology, Institute of Experimental Neurology, Division of Neuroscience, Scientific Institute San Raffaele, Milan IT

  17. Department of Health Sciences, Università del Piemonte Orientale, Novara IT

  18. Department of Neurology, University of California and San Francisco, San Francisco USA

  19. ALTIUS Institute for Biomedical Sciences, Seattle USA

  20. Department of Mathematics, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm SE

  21. Sanofi-Aventis Research and Development, Chilly-Mazarin FR

  22. IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, IT


Consulting through:

PricewaterhouseCoopers, Amsterdam, Netherlands

What We Do

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated disease and a leading cause of non-traumatic disability in young adults in Europe. People with MS experience marked reduction in quality of life and MS patients aged 18-29 report their health status to be similar to 80 year olds in the general population. In addition to this social impact, MS has economical consequences to society. The cost of MS increases with increasing disability reaching an annual cost of € 60.000 for patients who have reached progressive stage of disease, with the largest part being indirect costs. Hence, MS is one of the most expensive chronic diseases even compared to many diseases with higher prevalence.


While the cause of MS remains unknown, it is well established that both genetic and environmental factors such as life style exposures, play a role in the disease etiology. MultipleMS partners have been involved in showing that 238 genetic variants associate with susceptibility to develop MS and that lifestyle factors affect the risk of MS. Independently these factors typically confer modest effects but their combined effects convey a dramatic increase in the risk to develop MS. However, despite this considerable progress in genetic epidemiology of MS in recent years, the exact mechanisms of genetic and lifestyle factors and especially their combined roles remain unknown, thus hampering our deep understanding of disease mechanisms and the full potential of personalized medicine.


To develop novel personalised medicine approaches for MS patients, we will identify a combination of evidence-based selection of clinical, biological, and lifestyle features that can predict the clinical course, stratify patients based on their risk and the therapeutic response to the existing drugs in a real-world setting, and to gain in-depth knowledge of distinct pathogenic pathways to allow identification of targets for novel treatments. Our goal is timely, not only because there is an urgent need for precision management of MS but also because necessary knowledge, methodologies and vast multi-layer data resources are now available.


MultipleMS will identify stratified patient populations utilizing unprecedented large cohorts rich in genetic, lifestyle, clinical, imaging and DMT response data. Publically available large scale ‘multi- omics’ data, in particular high-resolution maps of immune cells, in combination with ‘multi-omics’ data from MS patients, will empower identification of biological pathways underlying stratified patient populations. MultipleMS will further validate these pathways in a prospective observational study, prioritize novel therapeutic targets and initiate a drug development program.