Highlights from ”Towards personalized MS treatment – research on and use of biomarkers” 29th of January 2015


Thursday the 29th of January Nansen Neuroscience Network organized a meeting about multiple sclerosis at Vika Atrium in Oslo. Around 50 participants from academia and industry were gathered to hear about personalized MS treatment and biomarkers. 

Professor Guro Elisabeth Lind from Institute for Cancer Research (OUS/UiO) opened the meeting with an inspiring lesson from the cancer field. She shared her research findings and talked about the challenges around identification and establishment of cancer biomarkers. She raised the issues of sensitivity and specificity, invasiveness of tests, and the importance of close collaboration with the TTO.

Nikolaus Oberprielser, Senior Scientist Biomarkers at Lifandis AS, talked about personalized medicine based on biomarkers, how biomarkers can be used by the pharmaceutical industry, research on biomarkers in collaboration with industry, and why Norway should be in the forefront when it comes to biomarker research. Through Lifandis AS, both industry and academia can get access to the wealth of material and information that is stored in Norwegian biobanks. 

Professor Lars Bø from KG Jebsen Centre for MS research and the National Comptetence Centre for MS talked about the need for biomarkers in early diagnostics and prediction of disease progression. Better biomarkers will be of great importance for long-term prognosis, risk-assessment, personalized treatment, and for measuring effect of treatment.

Frode Berven, KG Jebsen Centre for MS
Research and Institute for Biomedicine, UiB 
 Mohammed Amarzguioui, Inven2

After lunch, the audience got updated on Norwegian MS research through three short presentations. Steffan Bos from OUS/UiO presented his preliminary results on genomics in purified immune cells from MS patients. The results caught the interest of Mohammed Amarzguioui from Inven2. Gro Owren Nygaard from OUS/UiO talked about NEDA (no evidence of disease activity) as a good indicator for disease progression in patients with MS and encouraged the audience to use NEDA as a measure in the clinic. Frode Berven (KG Jebsen Centre for MS Research and Institute for Biomedicine, UiB) talked about his hunt for protein biomarkers for MS that can rationalize treatment and enable perzonalized treatment. His group have found several promising biomarker candidates.

The meeting ended with an important tutorial about inventions, patents and licensing by Mohammed Amarzguioui from Inven2. He guided us through the process from idea to product, and stressed the importance of having close contact with the TTO to ensure that great ideas don’t loose their potential.