Recruitment and Registration of Interest FAQs

Click here to download a PDF with all the Recruitment and Registration of Interest FAQs

No, there is no obligation to sign up with the UK MS Register although we do encourage this.

No. However when they finish their existing clinical trial, following a 6-month washout period, they could be considered for the Octopus trial. However, it is possible to be in Octopus and take part in a study that does not require you to take any medication or use a device.  Please speak to your study team if you are interested in another study.

We apologise for the delay.

You can find the latest updates on open and pending Octopus hospital sites here, and we continue to work to get more hospital sites around the UK open during 2024.The initial capacity of the trial is 125 participants per experimental arm (375 total). The second stage will enrol 600 participants per experimental so there will be plenty of opportunities for you to take part in Octopus.

As there has been a lot of interest in this trial already, it may take a while to get back to you. The waiting time could be up to a year, depending on when hospital sites open and the research doctors’ and nurses’ capacity to review and confirm your eligibility. They will first contact those who have registered their interest earlier and those who are approaching 70 years old. However, please be assured we will continue to contact you regularly to keep you updated about the trial’s progress.

Like all clinical trials, Octopus has eligibility criteria that dictate who can take part. If an experimental treatment tested in the trial is effective, it may then be licensed for a wider group of people. 

Eligibility criteria make sure the trial is safe for everyone taking part. They also make sure we can test the benefits of a drug as quickly and effectively as possible. For all clinical trials, you're more likely to find an effect if you tightly control the group of people taking part, so there isn’t too much variation to account for (also known as ‘noise in the signal’).  

We want Octopus to be as inclusive as possible. For that reason, the eligibility criteria is as wide as possible. For example, Octopus has a wider EDSS range than many previous trials and a higher upper age limit.  

A Registration of Interest means you have registered your interest in taking part in Octopus by answering some questions. Once completed, if you are suitable to take part we will still need to do further checks. You will be added to a list for your chosen hospital site, and they will contact you by phone (see What happens at pre-screening?). The waiting time could be up to several months, (see Why can it take a while to hear from my Octopus hospital site?).

Once you have completed your Registration of Interest, and if you are potentially able to take part, please be assured you have registered your interest. However, due to the high volume of registrations and hospital sites opening to Octopus, it may take some time before a hospital site gets in touch with you. The Octopus trial will send you updates on the trial progress via email approximately every 2 months. Therefore if you receive the Octopus trial updates, then it confirms your Registration of Interest has been received.

Participants who are currently registered can read the latest updates in the Octopus Trial Update (December 2023).

Pre-screening is the telephone call that you will receive from your chosen hospital site if you have submitted a Registration of Interest.  It may be a while before you receive this call (see “I registered my interest to take part in Octopus a long time ago, why have I not been contacted?”).

On this call, you will be asked to chat through the answers you have given, see if anything has changed and some other questions to see if you are able to take part in Octopus. It is also an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have about Octopus. If at the end of the call the hospital site think that you meet the eligibility criteria and can take part, you will be invited to the hospital site for further screening tests prior to randomisation (“What is randomisation?”).

If you are interested in other trials for people living with MS or would like to take part in other research, further information is available on the MS Society website.  Please also discuss your options with your GP.

Octopus is funded by the MS Society