Optimal Clinical Trials Platform for Progressive Multiple Sclerosis

A trial testing multiple treatments at different times aiming to find one that can slow down, and ultimately stop, the progression of disability in people with progressive Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

What is this study about?

OCTOPUS will test multiple treatments at different times with the aim of finding one that can slow down and ultimately stop the progression of disability in participants with progressive MS.

This will be done by initially testing 'repurposed' treatments over a number of years using the MAMS trial method. By using the multi-arm, multi-stage approach with new arms added with other repurposed or novel treatments, when appropriate, it aims to be a more efficient trial. The treatments tested will largely be focused on the broad mechanisms of neuroprotection and remyelination.

Who can take part?

Adults with primary or secondary progressive MS who meet the trial's eligibility criteria.

What is different about the Octopus trial?

OCTOPUS is the first MS trial to use a type of trial design known as multi-arm multi-stage (MAMS). This method can have many advantages over traditional trials:

  • It allows several treatments to be tested at the same time against a common control (i.e. “multi-arm”).
  • Treatments which appear to be effective from the early data can continue onto the next trial stage without the team having to stop and set up a new trial (i.e. “multi-stage”).
  • It allows data to be analysed while the trial is ongoing, rather than only at the end.
  • Decisions can also be made on early results about stopping treatments that do not show promise.
  • When new information about different treatments becomes available, these treatments could be added into the trial.

OCTOPUS also aims to be a more efficient trial by testing repurposed treatments (i.e. already in use for other conditions). Using repurposed treatments means there is already an understanding of their safety and possible side effects. Therefore, this trial can focus on whether they are effective and beneficial for patients with progressive MS.  

I have MS and am interested in taking part in OCTOPUS. What do I do next?

Please register your interest using this form and we'll be able to look into whether this trial is suitable for you. For more information, please go to ms-octopus.info.

Published articles

Type of study

Randomised trial

Contact details


Who is funding the study?

OCOTPUS is funded by the UK MS Society.

When is it taking place?

OCTOPUS is funded to run from January 2021 to December 2028.

Where is it taking place?

OCTOPUS is taking place in 15-30 neuroscience sites across the UK.

Who is included?

Adults with progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PMS).