A new Australian clinical trial testing a cancer drug to treat MND is set to commence next month thanks to direct funding from FightMND.  

PharmAust, a Perth-based biotechnology company, is undertaking a Phase 1 trial of the effect of its lead drug candidate, monepantel, for the treatment of motor neuron disease (MND). This drug trial was made possible thanks to an investment from FightMND of $881,085. 

Monepantel has demonstrated preliminary evidence of efficacy in a previous clinical trial to influence cancers and shown effects in preclinical investigations of neurodegenerative diseases such as MND. 

The tablets involved in the trial are designed with a particular shape and size to help MND patients who often have difficulty with swallowing to take them and to reach specific blood drug levels targeted for this disease. 

The Phase 1 trial will test the safety and tolerability of monepantel in patients living with MND and will look for signs that monepantel can slow the progression of MND. The data gathered will determine whether monepantel will be tested through larger Phase 2 studies. 

This clinical trial is the latest of thirteen trials funded by FightMND since the organisation’s inception. These vital funding opportunities have been made possible due to the continued support of the Australian public, particularly as part of the Big Freeze campaign.  

FightMND’s Research Director, Dr Bec Sheean stated, “We are excited to support this Phase 1 study and to continue to provide access to clinical trials for Australians with MND. We thank people with MND for their participation in this study and our FightMND army for allowing us to support vital research in the search for effective treatments and a cure for this disease.”  Dr Bec Sheean, Research Director at FightMND.” 

PharmAust’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr Richard Mollard commented, “We are pleased with the development of our Phase 1 MPL (montepantel) trial for MND and look forward to commencing recruitment. We are grateful for the continued support from FightMND and thank everyone supporting the Big Freeze 8 and FightMND.” 

Find out more about the PharmAust clinical trial here.