The Octopus MS trial

April 5, 2023 | Southmedia

The Octopus MS trial

Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of discussion about the Octopus MS research trial. It even made the BBC homepage.


But what is it about?

The Octopus trial will test drugs to help people with progressive MS. The MS Society has produced a short film explaining all about the trial.

Watch the MS Society video about the trial

The MS Society said on Twitter: ‘Our mega-trial for progressive MS – Octopus – has started recruitment at its first hospital site. This means the first few people with primary and secondary progressive MS have begun taking part.’

Find out more about this development and how you could take part here.


Here is what the MS Society say….

‘Octopus is a revolutionary trial that will transform the way we test treatments for progressive MS. A smarter way of testing potential treatments, it could deliver life-changing new treatments up to three times faster.

Octopus 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 MRI 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.

Merging separate trials may sound obvious. But launching a MAMS trial for MS needs so many things to line up perfectly. From hospitals around the country equipped to be trial sites, to the incredibly complicated statistics that underpin the design.’

The MS Society has published a film on their Social Media with trial leader Professor Jeremy Chataway explaining how the Octopus trial will test treatments. Click on the links below to watch it. 

On Facebook

On Twitter






Scroll to Top
Skip to content