FightMND commits another $10.6 million to more world-leading MND research projects

In September 2020, FightMND announced another major funding commitment to further advance research into Motor Neurone Disease as the fight to find effective treatments and a cure for the disease continues.

This investment takes the total amount of funds invested by FightMND into research to $48.45 million since 2014.

The Australian public continue to support FightMND and are responsible for these funds being available to invest in the best research projects possible, led by incredibly talented and committed researchers both here in Australia and abroad.

Read more about each new project here.

2019 FUNDED CLINICAL TRIALS

DRUG DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

IMPACT PROJECTS

To accelerate the development of effective therapies for MND, FightMND IMProving and
ACcelerating Translation (IMPACT) grants support projects focused on overcoming one or
more key barriers preventing the translation of potential treatments through to clinical trial.
In 2019, FightMND awarded 7 IMPACT projects dedicated to accelerating promising
research discoveries through to clinical trials and effective treatments for MND.

OTHER 2019 FUNDED RESEARCH INITIATIVES

2016-18 Clinical Trials

Along with bringing promising new compounds from overseas biotechnology and research bodies into clinical trials here in Australia, the pipeline will support Australian MND researchers,

clinicians and patients through funding development of homegrown drugs from our labs into clinical trials for Australian MND patients. See below for more details about the four clinical trials that FightMND have funded that are currently underway.

Tecfidera Trial

Tecfidera in ALS (TEALS) study

The “Tecfidera in ALS” (TEALS) study is the largest Australian-run clinical trial in MND/ALS.

The study is a Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Phase II Trial which will test the safety, tolerability and efficacy of the drug Tecfidera in up to 150 MND patients. The trial is being headed by Professor Steve Vucic and Professor Matthew Kiernan at the University of Sydney.

More about Tecfidera

IC14 Trial

The Phase 1b clinical trial of IC14 as a potential treatment option for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) began in 2017. The trial is a small study being run at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital that assess the safety and tolerability of the drug IC14 in 10 MND patients. The IC14 trial is supported by FightMND in partnership with Implicit Bioscience.

More about IC14

Lighthouse Trial

In 2016, FightMND funded the “Lighthouse Trial”, a Phase 2 pilot clinical trial of combination oral anti-retroviral therapy as a potential treatment option for Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Excitement about the possibility of this targeted therapy has grown in recent times due to strong scientific evidence in both humans and recent pre-clinical animal studies.

An overview of the research that has been performed to date, the rationale for why this compound may be an effective treatment, and the status of the clinical trial is briefly summarized here.

More about Lighthouse

Copper-ATSM Trial

In 2016, FightMND partnered with a USA company called Collaborative Medicinal Development (CMD) to run the first Phase 1 clinical trial of the drug, Copper-ATSM (Cu-ATSM) as a potential treatment option for Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Cu-ATSM therapy was developed in Melbourne Australia, and the trial is a true example of Australian scientific ingenuity and innovation. Researchers are very excited by the basic scientific work and the pre-clinical trials and data that led to this first-in-man clinical study in Australia.

An overview of the research that has been performed to date, the rationale for why this compound may be an effective treatment, and the status of the clinical trial is briefly summarized here.

More about Copper-ATSM
Our Key Components Include:

  • A Clinical Trials and Translational Research Advisory Committee (CTAC) comprised of world-class MND clinicians and researchers to help oversee our translational research grant processes and clinical trial roll-out
  • A commitment to help progress promising new drugs in the lab, funded from pre-clinical testing through to clinical trial stages, as identified by our expert advisory committee

  • A collaborative consortium of 10 leading clinical trial sites to fast-track patient recruitment once agents are ready to roll-out in clinical trials
  • And hopefully, an effective treatment for MND available to Australian patients within the next 5 to 10 years

A/Prof Trent Woodruff's project is focused on bringing a novel drug for MND called PMX205 into the clinic. PMX205 targets the immune system to try to slow the disease progression in MND.

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Prof Perry Bartlett's project is focused on developing a new drug, mEphA4-Fc, so that it can be tested in MND patients in a clinical trial. mEphA4-Fc targets motor neurones and keeps them functioning in disease.

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A/Prof Bradley Turner's project will test a drug that targets a biochemical pathway that is important in the metabolism of specialised lipid cells called ``glycospingolipids`` which are essential for motor neurone function and survival.

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A/Prof Peter Crouch's project will investigate whether a combination therapy of the drug CopperATSM and a novel drug that regulates iron levels is protective against MND.

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A/Prof Atkin was been awarded two FightMND Drug Development Grants for two different projects aimed at developing new treatments for MND.

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Prof Tracey Dickson's project aims to determine if a drug that mimics the action, Neuropeptide Y, of specialised inhibitory cells can treat MND.

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