Merck commemorates World MS Day with awareness and educational events across the Middle East

Merck, a leading science and technology company, joins the global multiple sclerosis (MS) community today in recognition of World MS Day, to raise awareness of this devastating disease. With the slogan ‘Life with MS’, Merck celebrates the global solidarity and hope for the future.

Beyond its ongoing research in clinical treatments, Merck is committed to improving the lives of people living with MS through real-world data collection, support for caregivers and patients, as well as awareness programs globally.  In support of the World MS Day, Merck introduces a global carer partner survey with the International Alliance of Carer Organizations (IACO) to help identify unmet needs and bring visibility and support to family caregivers around the globe.

With MS affecting 2.3 million people worldwide, it is imperative that proper treatment measures are taken. The prevalence of MS in the GCC alone is approximately 60-70/100000 which is surprisingly high. Each year World MS Day provides individuals and organizations the opportunity to raise awareness of this condition and a chance to start new conversations about the steps they can take to make a difference to people with MS.

“World MS Day serves is an important reminder of the real challenges millions of people living with MS face every day,” said Dr. Jihad Inshasi, MD, FAAN, FEAN, Consultant Neurologist at Rashid Hospital in Dubai. “Their strength to fight this illness is what motivates us to develop different treatment options including improved innovative therapies, drug delivery devices, enhanced patient programs and support services.  At present, Merck are working on a new treatment regime that is expected to become available to further support people living with relapsing-remitting MS.”

One of the greatest advances in neurology has been the explosion of research in the field of multiple sclerosis. The landscape of MS management is rapidly changing in the last few years with the introduction of new theories, new diagnostic criteria, new treatments and new monitoring tools for evaluating the disease severity and response to treatment. “This is very exciting and is an improved advancement in our medical technology.  In the past, there were no approved therapies for MS, and today we have 7 injectable drugs and 4 oral medications in addition to other medication advances. We are entering a new era in the field of MS,” added Dr. Inshasi.

Merck has played an instrumental role for the last 20 years in developing foundation therapies for people living with MS.  The company is currently working on a new treatment option for MS that when approved, would be the first-of-its-kind dosing regimen to reduce the burden of doses frequency to only 10 days of oral treatment every year.  Dr. Jihad Inshasi, has been involved in this research on the new MS treatments, emphasizing the trust that Multinational research entities has for healthcare sector in the UAE.

Commenting on the new treatment options Nazih Ammoury, Regional Business Lead at Merck said, “Our efforts to bring new treatment options for MS, demonstrates Merck’s continued commitment to improve new treatment options for multiple sclerosis. Although there are several therapies available for relapsing-remitting MS, there is still a significant number of unmet medical needs.” |

“MS is the most common, debilitating chronic disease in young adults”Yiannis Vlontzos, Head of MEA Region at Merck explained. “It is a disease that causes a number of unpredictable neurological symptoms that can result in increasing disability  effecting about 2.3 million people worldwide. Merck has a long-term experience on MS treatment and is currently working on the development of another treatment option in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis that will deliver high efficacy in short treatment cycles.”

World Health Organization. Atlas: multiple sclerosis resources in the world [online]. Available from URL: http://www. who.int/mental_health/neurology/Atlas_MS_WEB.pdf [Accessed 2017 April 13]

Chofflon M. Et al. Mechanisms of Action for Treatments in Multiple Sclerosis Does a Heterogeneous Disease Demand a Multi-Targeted Therapeutic Approach?. Biodrugs 2005; 19 (5): 299-308