Understanding MS Progression

Over the last 25 years, the scientific community has made significant advancements in understanding and treating multiple sclerosis (MS), which have helped transform what it means to live with the disease. Today, people diagnosed with MS have a far better chance of delaying disability, due to clinical advances in diagnosing MS faster and the availability of more medicines. But how do we move from delaying MS progression to stopping it or, perhaps someday in the future, even reversing it? This question is at the core of Genentech’s ongoing MS research.

MS is a progressive disease from the start, regardless of how it manifests, and the biology of the disease is very complex. We believe that a better understanding of MS progression and being able to identify its underlying signs – paired with early treatment – could help tackle progression and preserve people’s day-to-day function over the long-term. Looking at MS from the first symptoms and signs of the disease is especially important in progressive forms of the disease, as disability tends to accumulate relentlessly.

Genentech has been conducting therapeutic clinical trials that aim to address unmet medical needs in Progressive MS for almost 15 years. With each clinical trial across the field, whether successful or not, we as a community learn a lot about the disease itself, which in turn enables us to design more sophisticated studies in the next round.

In the videos below, I share more about how our understanding of MS progression is evolving and how we’re applying these insights to our research in Progressive MS.


Peter sheds light on our understanding of MS progression and what will be needed to truly tackle the disease.



Peter discusses the different types of Progressive MS and why the condition continues to be a focus for Genentech.



Peter discusses Genentech’s work to advance care for those living with Progressive MS by applying modern clinical trial designs, techniques and tools.



Illustration by Elizabeth Jameson, an artist specializing in the intersection of art and science.