Expanding the Biomarker Panel in MS: Jens Kuhle, MD, PhD


The senior physician and head of the Multiple Sclerosis Centre at University Hospital Basel spoke about his partnership with Octave and their work assessing and validating biomarkers for use in multiple sclerosis. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

“Knowing what is normal is an important validation step down the road. For our collaboration, we chose well-characterized cohorts of stable patients, but of patients also without any relapses and progressive MS, so moving considerably on the disability scale. We’ve had a group of about 50 patients with over approximately 400 longitudinal samples, plus an acute inflammatory control cohort.”

Currently, multiple sclerosis (MS) presents a somewhat unique situation for clinical researchers. The treatment paradigm is robust, with more than 15 disease-modifying therapies available for disease management, however, the long-term measurement of disability and disease progression can be a challenging aspect of MS to quantify. This has led to a vast effort to expand the existing biomarker panel to allow for a more stout measurement of progression.

Jens Kuhle, MD, PhD, senior physician and head of the Multiple Sclerosis Centre at University Hospital Basel, is one such clinician involved in these efforts. At the 2022 European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Congress, from October 26-28, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, he and colleagues presented multiple data sets displaying the results of his group’s collaboration with Octave, a company aimed at providing fully-integrated precision care solutions for MS.1,2

The first of these presentations suggested that using multivariate models of a custom immunoassay panel that measures the concentration of 20 proteins could classify healthy patients from MS subtypes, clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) from other MS phenotypes, as well as CIS and relapsing MS from progressive MS. Kuhle and colleagues noted that this ability to differentially diagnose MS from overlapping pathophysiology, as well as distinguishing MS subtypes from one another, could enhance therapeutic management of patients in clinical practice.1 Additionally, they presented evidence suggesting a separation of MS progressors vs nonprogressors with a panel of markers that extend beyond the well-known candidates of neurofilament light and glial fibrillary acidic protein).2

Kuhle caught up with NeurologyLive® to talk about these efforts and the larger panel of approximately 3000 proteins that will be assayed with their samples and an independent validation cohort.2 Kuhle noted that this understanding of MS disease progression and its effect on the serum proteome has the potential to lead to a new method of quantifying disease progression.

1. Oechtering J, da Costa FR, F Qureshi, et al. Differential diagnosis of MS patients versus disease state controls and classification of MS subtypes using serum proteomics. Presented at: ECTRIMS Congress; October 26-28, 2022; Amsterdam, the Netherlands. P258.
2. Willemse E, Gehman V, Oechtering J, et al. Serum biomarkers of progression by proteomic search in extreme MS phenotypes. Presented at: ECTRIMS Congress; October 26-28, 2022; Amsterdam, the Netherlands. O014.
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