World MS Day was created by the Multiple Sclerosis International Foundation (MSIF) in 2009 to raise global awareness of MS and its impact on approximately 2.3 million people with MS around the world. This year's World MS Day campaign focuses on 'access'. Importantly, the topic of access spans beyond access to treatment in MS. Increasingly, there is a need for access to relevant and personalized online information that allows people to utilize available tools in order to make adjustments that can help them to manage their MS in a way that best suits their lifestyle.
"Novartis is a proud supporter of World MS Day, and we recognize the value of providing access to personalized information for the MS community," said David Epstein, Division Head, Novartis Pharmaceuticals. "As part of our commitment to providing innovative solutions that go beyond treatments, we are delighted to announce the launch of the 7-Day Challenge to Live Like You, which will empower the MS community to gain valuable insights about themselves and their MS."
The 7-Day Challenge to Live Like You is a collaboration between Novartis and Tictrac, an innovative technology company with expertise in tracking user data and turning the data into unique perceptions (e.g. 'you're more active after a good night's sleep') that can help people with MS better understand their lifestyle in order to make small changes based on their new insights. Alongside the 7-Day Challenge to Live Like You, Novartis also recently launched Living Like You (www.livinglikeyou.com), an online resource community that features personal content for the MS community.
For people with MS, personalized information and tracking is essential because it can help with symptom management and take the guesswork out of what is and isn't working - and allow small changes that could help in achieving meaningful results. The tracking does not need to stop after the seven days are up; the 7-Day Challenge to Live Like You online tracking program will still be available to the MS community, to empower people with MS to continue to gain valuable insights about themselves and how to better manage their life with this debilitating disease.
About Living Like You
The Novartis-supported Living Like You (www.livinglikeyou.com) is an online resource community that features magazine-style content detailing the journey through the realities of life with MS by offering insights from people who live with the disease. Providing access to relevant information online is important as people with MS are up to three times more likely to be online compared to people with other diseases; in fact, MS is mentioned online every 13 seconds.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain, optic nerve and spinal cord. The evolution of MS results in an increasing loss of both physical (e.g. difficulty with walking) and cognitive (e.g. problems with mental tasks or memory) function. This has a substantial negative impact on the approximately 2.3 million people worldwide affected by MS, a disease that begins in early adulthood, most often between the ages of 20 and 40.
The loss of physical and cognitive function is driven by two main types of damage that both contribute to widespread loss of neurons (nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that transmit impulses): discrete inflammatory lesions, focal damage, in the brain that can clinically manifest as relapses; and ongoing, more diffuse damage that starts early in the disease and causes the progressive loss of brain tissue, including neurons, and over time is associated with both physical and cognitive problems-.
About Novartis in Multiple Sclerosis
Novartis is committed to the research and development of new treatment options to offer the right treatment to the right patient at the right time, to meet patients' needs at every stage of disease with innovative and targeted drugs.
In addition to its ongoing development program for Gilenya in primary progressive MS (PPMS), pediatric MS and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIPD), the Novartis MS portfolio includes Extavia® (interferon beta-1b for subcutaneous injection). Investigational compounds include BAF312 (siponimod), which is currently in Phase III clinical development and being developed as the first oral therapy for secondary progressive MS (SPMS), and VAY736, an anti-B-cell compound for MS that is currently being investigated in proof of concept studies. Novartis is also exploring the IL-17 pathway in MS.
Novartis provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2013, the Group achieved net sales of USD 57.9 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.9 billion (USD 9.6 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 135,000 full-time-equivalent associates and sell products in more than 150 countries around the world.
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