$1 million awarded for MND clinical trial

15 Sep 2019

A clinical trial for motor neurone disease (MND) patients will proceed thanks to a funding boost from FightMND.

MND is a rare but fatal disease that affects the motor functions of the body, meaning patients gradually lose the ability to move their limbs, swallow and breathe.

Dr Shyuan Ngo received $1 million, including one of only three inaugural FightMND Fellowships for Early and Mid Career Researchers awarded nationwide, to test if a heart medication could be repurposed for MND patients.

"About half of all patients with MND experience an increase in the way that their bodies use energy, which accelerates the spread of the disease through the body, and is linked to an increased risk of death and faster rate of progression," Dr Ngo said.

"The first phase of the trial will test if the drug can be safely administered, and if it can normalise metabolism in a small cohort of MND patients.

"If successful, it will lead to a second phase which would investigate the effect of the medication on slowing disease progression in a larger group of patients."The trial will be conducted in Australia at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, and internationally at two sites in the Netherlands and UK.

Dr Ngo’s funding is part of $9 million, announced today, awarded to 15 research projects across Australia by FightMND.

FightMND is the largest independent funder of MND research in Australia, with a vision of a world without MND.