A meeting of researchers, clinicians, industry and academia was convened by the MLD Foundation on June 24th in Washington, DC to discuss the openNHS Manifesto we wrote about in this blog post.
Since a NHS is not a therapy, NHS participants have historically be giving time, energy, and effort, not to mention exposing their MLD loved ones to occasional invasive and potentially painful testing with limited feedback from the NHS study teams.
The openNHS Manifesto …
- recognizes the importance of NHS to better understand the disease and as a baseline to determine efficacy and obtain regulatory approval of new therapies.
- calls for the NHS study team to be well-informed about MLD and to give back to the participants ideas and insight into improving the participants quality of life and ongoing clinical care.
- calls for study sponsors to collaborate pre-clinically up front with other researchers and industry to design a study that meets the sponsor’s needs as well as reasonably anticipated future needs
- calls for study data to be open and accessible as raw data (in its entirety) to future researchers. The Manifesto recognizes that some limited time protection may be necessary to honor publishing and IP rights.
At the DC meeting there was extensive discussion and sharing of perspectives and concerns about openNHS from many points of view.
We are pleased to report the meeting was a success on all fronts! MLD Foundation, on behalf of those affected with MLD and the ongoing research community, was able to facilitate full support of the Manifesto and will be working with MLD collaborators in general, as well as Shire as sponsor of the current US late infantile NHS, to implement the Manifesto on current and future MLD Natural History Studies.
We look forward to sharing more specifics about what this means to MLD families and NHS study participants in the near future.
We will also be sharing our success with other advocacy groups with the hope that they too can call for openNHS in their communities.