The octupus is an incredibly intelligent mollusc and starts life as an egg. If you want to see an amazing film watch “My Octupus Teacher” its on Netflix (See trailer.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3s0LTDhqe5A) set in South Africa. Maybe it will be the last time you will eat one! I have seen the birth of this octupus (see below)
It is a massive (90 x 60cm) bronze made in the East End of London by an amazing artist. I first saw this a lump of clay hanging from the ceiling in the Artists studio. However, likewise I have seen the the birth of the MS octupus. This is a new trial planned for progressive MS.
Now you may realise that an octupus has eight arms and the first part of MS Octupus may have just four arms. Hope it doesn’t turn out to be something with 4 arms/legs.
Octopus MS uses what’s called a multi-arm, multi-stage (MAMS) design – the first time this has even been done in MS.
MAMS trials make it possible to test new treatments up to three times faster by:
- Testing multiple drugs at once – and comparing them with a single control group.
- Using Magnetic resonance imaging to get an idea of whether a drug looks like it has potential, many months before we’d be able to see an effect of the drug on disability progression. Promising-looking drugs stay in the trial, with hundreds more people joining the existing participants. So what would normally be two consecutive trials are delivered in one.
- Adding the flexibility to drop drugs that don’t look promising, and slot in new drugs as they’re discovered.
A MAMS trial design called RECOVERY was used to find drugs that treat COVID-19. It has found a couple of drugs that worked and canned some others that didn’t. It used the power of the NHS to work as a team. Octupus MS does just this and involves a large number of people from all over the United Kingdom lead by Sir Jeremy. Theu plan to do adaptive head to head studies.
I really hope the octupus study adds agents on top of a disease modifying disease modifying treatment and look forward to seeing the trial design and the MRI outcome selected.