Project: An integrated approach to predict disease activity in the early phases of Multiple Sclerosis

Acronym FindingMS (Reference Number: ERAPERMED2018-233)
Duration 01/03/2019 - 28/02/2022
Project Topic Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder of the central nervous system characterized by inflammation, demyelination and axonal degeneration. It is a disabling disorder affecting more than 2 million people worldwide with a high socio-economic impact. Given its marked heterogeneity, including clinical manifestations and individual treatment response, MS is a typical condition where a more personalized intervention would be highly beneficial. Our hypothesis is that a comprehensive characterization of a large set of patients, integrating multi-layer data (clinical, molecular, environmental), could contribute to accelerate personalized medicine in MS through the identification of biomarkers of inflammatory activity and the development of network-based and artificial intelligence approaches able to predict disease activity and to support treatment choice in the early phases of the disease. Taking advantage of an already available well-characterized cohort of MS patients (>4,500), we will assess genetic and environmental factors associated with disease activity. A subset of 300 patients will be extensively studied at the molecular level by performing a comprehensive “omics” profiling covering transcriptome, miRNome and methylome, together with vitamin D measurements. Omics data will be integrated using genome-scale biological networks to yield modules of altered genes and unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying disease activity. We will then design a predictive algorithm of disease activity based on Deep Learning models suitable for personalized medicine applications in clinical practice. The findings from the present project, besides clarifying the master-regulators of MS heterogeneity, should contribute to guide a more tailored use of currently available drugs. This more personalized MS management will allow to improve quality of life and to slow disability progression, in turn reducing health system costs.
Network ERA PerMed
Call 1st Joint Transnational Call for Proposals (2018)

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 IRCCS Ospedale San Raffaele Coordinator Italy
2 Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Toulouse Partner France
3 National Research Council - Institute of Biomedical Technologies Partner Italy
4 geneXplain GmbH Partner Germany