Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory, disabling disease of the CNS. A recent study has estimated the annual cost of MS in Europe at €12.5 billion. There is no definitive cure for the disease. Immunomodulatory therapies, such as IFN-β and glatiramer acetate, are only partially effective. Various new therapies in the final stages of clinical trials are being developed in the absence of efficacy biomarkers. Hence, there is a pressing need for identification of MS treatment response biomarkers. The focus of the multicenter research initiative United Europeans for the development of pharmacogenomics in MS (UEPHA*MS) is to promote and improve training opportunities in the novel supradisciplinary area of pharmacogenomics, biomarker research and systems biology applied to MS. UEPHA*MS is a Marie Curie Initial Training network funded by the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission. The main scientific goals of this network are both to enhance our knowledge of the mechanisms determining response outcomes of existing immunomodulatory therapies and to identify novel therapeutic opportunities. UEPHA*MS is composed of 11 internationally recognized research teams from five countries with an assortment of expertise in complementary disciplines. The UEPHA*MS network will provide a coherent and internationally competitive platform for the training of young scientists based on multidisciplinary state-of-the-art laboratory-based and network-wide activities. This network will be instrumental in priming young scientists for Europe's collective effort toward improved provision of healthcare based on personalized medicine.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Vandenbroeck, K., Comabella, M., Tolosa, E., Goertsches, R., Brassat, D., Hintzen, R., … Villoslada, P. (2009). United Europeans for development of pharmacogenomics in multiple sclerosis network. Pharmacogenomics, 10(5), 885–894. doi:10.2217/pgs.09.33