FCRIN4MS is a multidisciplinary research network of excellence bringing together neurologists, researchers and research professionals specialising in multiple sclerosis (MS) and related diseases across France. The network currently comprises 34 hospitals, including the 23 MS resource and skills centres (CRC-SEPs) accredited by the French Ministry of Health. FCRIN4MS meets the highest standards of quality in its work, building on its advanced capacities for recruitment and training, and the collaborative ties forged by some of its centres with clinical investigation centres and/or CRC-SEPs.
A message from the coordinators
In France, the research community for multiple sclerosis (MS) and related diseases has developed considerable expertise in basic science, epidemiological research and clinical research. The main areas of focus include: (1) therapeutics targeting the immune system, remyelination and neuroprotection, (2) managing current therapies, (3) using biomarkers to adapt therapeutic strategies, (4) developing algorithms to process increasingly complex databases.
The decision to bring together the French centres involved in clinical research into MS and related diseases arose from the need for an environment that could support such national and international research projects into these diseases. For this purpose, the FCRIN4MS network was accredited by the FCRIN national infrastructure on 1 January 2018. It is the operational body for clinical research, working under the aegis of the French-speaking MS Society. The network members form a multidisciplinary, operational and experienced team who are used to working together (through the SFSEP and the OFSEP), and who have several years of experience in conducting major research projects.
The main role of FCRIN4MS is to develop the competitiveness and quality of clinical trials in the field of MS and related diseases (NMOSD: Neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders and MOGAD: Anti-MOG spectrum disorder) in France. FCRIN4MS has gradually increased its capacity to support projects, through:
- Shared methodological expertise,
- Recruitment potential across member centres,
- A training strategy for investigators and their teams,
- A shared approach to quality.
FCRIN4MS is a one-stop resource for easy access to the various players in clinical research, providing assistance at each stage in the organisation of clinical trials: support for tenders, regulatory and logistical aspects, setting up and monitoring academic and industrial studies. The members of the FCRIN4MS network are committed to building on this expertise for the benefit of clinical research in the field of MS and related rare inflammatory diseases.
Our organisation and objectives
FCRIN4MS is a national clinical research network dedicated to multiple sclerosis and rare inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system, bringing together researchers, investigators and clinical research professionals specialising in this field.
The network has links with:
- the OFSEP (French MS Observatory, http://www.ofsep.org/en/), an epidemiological support tool for collecting clinical, biological and neuroimaging data from patients with MS and other rare inflammatory diseases.
- the SFSEP (French-speaking MS Society, https://sfsep.org), an organisation bringing together all the doctors working with MS, with the aim of developing national research projects.
- and the C2-RCSEP[JA1] (the committee of the 23 MS Resource and Skills Centres) present across France and recently accredited by the DGOS, supporting the development of clinical research in their centres.
The objectives of FCRIN4MS are to:
The objectives of FCRIN4MS are to:
- Support French investigators in initiating and setting up clinical research projects
- Interact with industry and academic partners in France to set up clinical trials
- Increase communication between the expert centres taking part in clinical trials
- Provide support to increase patient recruitment for clinical trials
- Raise the international profile of French researchers in this field
FCRIN4MS is governed by a coordination committee, which is responsible for coordination and communications within the network and with its partners. This committee is based at the Centre of Clinical Investigation in Neurosciences at the Paris Brain Institute, Pitié Salpêtrière Hospital, in Paris. This coordination unit is the sole point of contact for the FCRIN4MS network.
Project manager: Yanica Mathieu
Coordinator: Céline Louapre
Coordinator: Gilles Edan
CRC Coordinator: Pierre Labauge
- The Steering Committee is made up of the heads of the working groups, and the Presidents of the SFSEP and the OFSEP. Its mission is to define and approve the network's strategic orientations and scientific goals.
WG1 Innovative therapeutic trials (leaders: Jérôme De Sèze, Gilles Edan)
WG2 Innovative imaging in MS (leaders: Adil Maarouf, Bruno Stankoff)
WG3 Epidemiology (leaders: Sandra Vukusic, Emmanuelle Leray)
WG4 Biomarkers (leaders: David Laplaud, Eric Thouvenot)
WG5 Rare inflammatory diseases (leaders: Romain Marignier, Caroline Papeix)
The Executive Committee is made up of the heads of the 34 centres. It meets three times a year to discuss network projects with investigators and their field teams, and to share any difficulties encountered by network members on academic or industrial projects.