Aoife from the MS community: Hello Dr Saud Sadiq, thank you for joining us here today. So I want to ask you a little about your research into stem cell and MS, so would you like to tell us a little bit about what you’ve been learning?
Dr Saud Sadiq, Consultant Neurologist: Yes, well we’ve been focussed on how patients with disability can get better and one of the approaches that we’ve taken is to use your own stem cells that are present in your body and to manipulate them and then use them as therapeutic tools for repair.
Aoife: Fantastic. So this is, in terms of progressive MS, this is not in terms of relapsing remitting?
Dr Saud Sadiq: Alright. So it’s easier to get funding and to start with progressive disease. So you take patients, where our current phase 1 trial which we just completed and we’re going to a phase 2 trial, was on secondary progressive and primary progressive patients. The hope is that if it is successful it will be given to patients as soon as they’re getting into trouble after relapsing remitting, or even after a bad relapse, if there’s not complete recovery then this treatment done early in the disease would help them not get disability.
Aoife: Brilliant. So you believe that early access to treatment is essential for people to help the long term?
Dr Saud Sadiq: Well no, absolutely. I believe that initially when you’re diagnosed, that’s when you should start treatment unless there’s a very compelling reason not to, like a lady who just wants to get pregnant and is stable and otherwise okay, you can delay treatment a little bit. But I think in almost all cases, the earlier the treatment is instituted, the better it is.