Groundbreaking MND research trials to start

Medical trials

Funding from the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation will be used to examine whether existing drugs could be used to treat the condition

1st October 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Scientists are to investigate whether drugs that already treat a range of conditions could help people with motor neurone disease.

The initiative could cut years spent waiting for treatments to become available because the drugs being tested are known to be safe.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have received £250,000 from the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, launched by former rugby star Doddie Weir, to support their study.

The team at the Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neurone Disease Research will take samples of blood cells from people with MND and convert them into brain cells in the lab.

These cells will have all the characteristics of the patients’ own brain cells, including signs of their condition.

Scientists will use advanced automated laboratory drug testing technology, developed at the university, to screen scores of existing medicines on the cells. They hope to identify drugs that might have beneficial effects on MND symptoms.

They will also test combinations of drugs, to check whether different types of medicines might have synergistic effects.

Weir said: "We launched My Name'5 Doddie Foundation with the clear aim of supporting research to help find a cure for MND. This is our second significant investment in research and we are delighted to be working with the respected Euan MacDonald Centre at the University of Edinburgh. Euan and his family have done a great deal in the fight against this devastating disease and we hope that by pledging funds to this this new initiative, we can help make a difference.

"This commitment has only been possible through the incredible help and fund raising efforts of the fine people who have supported us over the past ten months. The response to my diagnosis and the launch of the Foundation has been inspiring and we will continue to do all we can to help find a cure."