Our research goals

FightMND’s core priorities

We believe that in the coming years any person in this country diagnosed with MND should have the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial of investigative new drugs, or evidenced based re-purposed medications. This goal reflects the two core priorities of FightMND in regards to our research funding:

  • To help facilitate and expedite the pre-clinical development of promising new compounds in the laboratory through our translational research grants program
  • To help deliver these potential therapies to MND patients through the provision of access to clinical trials within the FightMND Clinical Trials Consortium.

$13.6

COMMITTED TO FUNDING RESEARCH PROJECTS

$6.6m

COMMITTED TO CLINICAL TRIALS

23

Research Grants Awarded

4

Aus Clinical Trials Funded

Clinical trials funded by FightMND

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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

Read more

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

Read more
Event

MND Research Symposium

Our inaugural MND Research Symposium was held in Melbourne in March, 2018. Stay connected with us for more details regarding the next MND Research Symposium. Connect. Collaborate. Inspire.

View a re-cap of the 2018 Research Symposium

2019 FightMND Research Grants

The Foundation has gathered leading MND researchers, neurologists, and experienced clinical trials physicians from Australia and abroad to lead our drug development program and research grant process, and to help facilitate the roll out clinical trials in Australian MND clinics.

Research Grant Criteria

Researchers working in areas relevant to improving the translation of/or progressing the development of potential therapies for Motor Neurone Disease (MND) are invited to apply for funding to support research projects commencing in 2019.

We are pleased to announce a call for the following FightMND Research Grants.

 1. CLINICAL TRIAL GRANTS

These grants support Phase II/III clinical trials of novel, high-potential treatments for MND/ALS within the Australian Clinical Trials Consortium.

Click here to download a copy of the Clinical Trial Grants Criteria

These grants are awarded with an offer of AUD $500,000 – $1,000,000 (Phase II trial) up to $1,500,000 (Phase III trial) with a project performance of up to 3 years.

 Eligibility: Applications are open to MND/ALS researchers globally. Australian trial sites mandatory.

 KEY DATES

  • Applications Open: November 1st 2018
  • Letter of Intent due: January 19th 2019
  • Submit Letter of Intent to: [email protected]
  • Invitation to submit full application: 9th February 2019
  • Full application due: April 1st 2019
  • Recipients Announced: Late June 2019

 

  1. DRUG DEVELOPMENT GRANTS

These grants support the preclinical research, development and assessment of therapeutics for MND/ALS through to (and including) completion of Phase I clinical trials.

Click here to download a copy of the Drug Development Criteria

These grants are each awarded with an offer of up to AUD $1,000,000 in support available for 3-year projects (Projects with a period of performance of less than 3-years will also be considered).

  • Eligibility: Applications are open to MND/ALS researchers globally.
  • Applications Open: November 1st 2018
  • Letter of Intent due: January 19th 2019
  • Submit Letter of Intent to: [email protected]
  • Invitation to submit full application: 9th February 2019
  • Full application due: April 1st 2019
  • Recipients Announced: Late June 2019

 

  1. IMPACT GRANTS

IMPACT (IMProving and ACcelerating Translation) Grants support projects focused on one or more of the following key issues contributing to the lack of translation of effective treatments through to clinical trial for MND/ALS

i. Disease heterogeneity

ii. Lack of relevant preclinical models

iii. A lack of reliable disease biomarkers

iv. The challenge of drug delivery into the brain

v. A lack of effective targeted gene therapies

vi. The untapped potential of stem cell therapy

Click here to download a copy of the IMPACT Grant Criteria

These grants are for support of 2-year projects up to the value of AUD $250,000. Proposals for both discovery and translational research stages will be considered.

Eligibility: Applications are invited for research based in institutions within Australia. Investigators at all academic levels are eligible to submit applications.

KEY DATES

  • Applications Open: November 1st 2018
  • Full application due: April 1st 2019
  • Recipients Announced: Late June 2019

 

  1. FIGHTMND MID-CAREER RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP

This Fellowship will support mid-career researchers (5 – 12 years following award of their PhD) to lead a research project aimed at understanding the causes of MND/ALS, elucidating disease mechanisms and facilitating the translation of therapeutic strategies from the laboratory to the clinic.

Click here to download a copy of the Mid-Career Fellowship Criteria

A total of AUD $100,000 per annum for support of a 3-year full-time Fellowship, with an overall maximum of $300,000 for a 3-year award. Proposals for both discovery and translational research stages will be considered.

Eligibility: Applications are invited for researchers based in institutions within Australia. Applicants must have completed their PhD within 5 – 12 years at the time of application.

KEY DATES

  • Applications Open: November 1st 2018
  • Full application due: April 1st 2019
  • Recipients Announced: Late June 2019

 

  1. FIGHTMND EARLY-CAREER RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP

This Fellowship will support early-career researchers (within 5 years following award of their PhD) to lead a research project aimed at understanding the causes of MND, elucidating disease mechanisms and facilitating the translation of therapeutic strategies from the laboratory to the clinic.

 Click here to download a copy of the Early-Career Fellowship Criteria

 A total of AUD $100,000 per annum for support of a 3-year full-time Fellowship, with an overall maximum of $300,000 for a 3-year award. Proposals for both discovery and translational research stages will be considered.

 Eligibility: Applications are invited for researchers based in institutions within Australia. Applicants must have completed their PhD within 5 years at the time of application.

KEY DATES

  • Applications Open: November 1st 2018
  • Full application due: April 1st 2019
  • Recipients Announced: Late June 2019

 

Please see individual grant application guidelines for further information or for further enquiries,

please contact Dr Bec Sheean, FightMND Research Manager, [email protected]

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