MND funding

Government funds new motor neurone disease research

Two years into a five-year commitment to support motor neurone disease (MND) research, the government has allocated almost £7 million for research grants in the hopes of enabling faster progress towards treatment.

The £7 million is set to “support work on novel molecules that could unlock new therapeutics, a study of the disease mechanisms of MND, and the funding of three research fellowships looking into MND risks and its early stages”.

The investment forms part of a wider £50 million commitment and has been made by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology along with the Department for Health and Social Care.

The government notes that “recent successes include stem cell research by the Francis Crick Institute to investigate the molecular processes that cause the disease, and the development by the UK Dementia Research Institute (DRI) of a new form of testing for MND, which is now being used in a clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of a new treatment.”

The latest allocation joins £8 million for early phase clinical research for MND; £12.5 million to support “the best MND discovery science at the UK Dementia Research Institute”; a £3 million translational accelerator investment from MRC; £1 million to enhance coordination of UK MND research by setting up a MND Collaborative Partnership; and £2 million additional investment in this partnership to focus on gathering and analysing existing data on the condition, to explore underlying causes and help develop new treatments.

Chloe Smith, Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, commented that the funding signifies how the government has “cut unnecessary red tape, enabling us to deliver funding for this crucial work even more quickly. Today, we are redoubling efforts by providing further support for the world-leading scientists and researchers who are taking the fight to MND.”