Innodem Neurosciences and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. signed a multiyear partnership to conduct a clinical trial that could help clinicians better diagnose and monitor the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Novartis will fund the cross-sectional and longitudinal trial to validate Innodem’s artificial intelligence-powered, patented, eye-tracking software technology in assisting clinicians in diagnosing and monitoring disease progression in patients with MS, thereby improving treatment and outcomes.

“This partnership is the result of an ongoing collaboration that was architected over the past 2 years,” Marc Reeves, cofounder and chief business officer of Innodem, said in a press release. “It embodies our common goal and commitment to improving quality of care for people living with MS globally.”

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Andrea Marazzi, country pharma organization head at Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., stated, “We anticipate that the trial will confirm its relevancy so that more people living with MS and treating clinicians can have access to it in Canada and across the world.”

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Vision problems are one of the most common symptoms of MS and often one that patients notice first. There are currently no companion diagnostic tests that can detect MS progression.

Innodem’s software technology is embodied in a mobile application that is able to turn a tablet into a device that can capture and analyze eye movements and gaze mapping biomarkers.

During the trial, participants will be tested twice a month using the software. The data obtained will be correlated with the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), the current gold standard of quantifying disability and monitoring changes in the level of disability over time in MS. It will also be correlated with participants’ Brief International Cognitive Assessment for MS (BICAMS) and MS Functional Composite (MSFC) scores to assist clinicians in detecting subtle changes that may indicate disease progression.

“A clinician whose patient shows objective signs of progressive MS may recommend a better adapted treatment which could, if detected early, prevent this individual from developing further disability,” Étienne de Villers-Sidani, MD, cognitive neurologist and main founder and chief executive officer of Innodem, said.


Innodem Neurosciences signs a strategic partnership with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. News release. Innodem Neurosciences; October 5, 2021.