Australian leads development of world’s largest MS database

Melbourne University’s Professor Helmut Butzkueven has tonight been awarded Research Australia’s Data Innovation Award for his incredible work developing MS Base, the world’s largest Multiple Sclerosis (MS) database sharing, tracking and evaluating clinical data in more than 55,000 people with MS from 33 countries.

Multiple Sclerosis is a debilitating and deadly disease affecting 23,000 Australians. While there is no cure, a range of treatments are offered to reduce the symptoms, delay the onset and improve quality of life.

“We don’t know why some treatments work better for some people living with MS than others. That’s where data, on the scale collected by MS Base, is so necessary.

“The Data Innovation Award is presented to an individual or team that has developed the most innovative method of gathering and sharing data in a way that advances health and medical research, “MS Base is evidence of Australian innovation on a global scale which is improving the lives patients,” said Research Australia CEO, Nadia Levin.

Professor Helmut Butzkueven, a neurologist and internationally recognised MS researcher based at the Melbourne Brain Centre, Royal Melbourne, and Box Hill Hospitals, is the driving force behind MSBase.

Since its inception in 2004, MSBase has accumulated an outstanding list of achievements including:

• Head-to-head clinical trials of different MS medications
• Comparisons of long-term effectiveness of different MS treatments
• Revealing clinical predictors of long-term disability in MS
• Clear evidence for the benefits of early treatment in reducing the long-term impact of MS

‘MS Base has been crucial to defining the real world outcomes for people with MS. It has led to the development of consensus guidelines for the treatment of MS patients worldwide. None of this would have been possible without the original vision and ongoing drive of Prof Butzkueven,’ said Dr Matthew Miles, CEO of MS Research Australia.

Media Contacts:
Wendy McWilliam, Research Australia – 0413 598 857
Petricia Augustus, MS Research Australia – 02 8413 7910

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