Ground-breaking MND clinical trial announced
16th January 2020
Hundreds of people living with MND are now being invited to take part in one of the UK’s most comprehensive clinical trials in a generation.
Announced by MND Scotland on 15 January, the clinical drug trial will test multiple new treatments for MND, and will be open to almost every person in Scotland with the illness, regardless of how the disease or current treatments affect them.
The platform, MND-SMART, is a UK-wide trial which aims to find treatments that can slow, stop or reverse the progression of the terminal disease. While typical clinical trials focus on a single drug, MND-SMART will allow more than one treatment to be tested at a time, giving patients a higher chance of receiving active treatment, rather than a placebo. It is designed to be adaptive so that the researchers can modify their approach according to emerging results. New drugs can be added once the trial has started, while medicines that prove ineffective can be dropped.
Initially, researchers will test drugs that are already licensed for use in other conditions to check whether they offer any benefit for people with MND. This repurposing of existing drugs avoids some of the lengthy approvals processes associated with new drugs and could cut years off the time taken for the medications to become available to people with MND through the NHS.
Investment of £1.5million from MND Scotland has made the trial possible and demonstrates commitment to bringing more MND trials to Scotland in 2020. Additional funding for the trial has also been made available from the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research.
First participants will be seen in Edinburgh with other clinics across the UK joining during 2020, with support from NHS Research Scotland through NRS Neuroprogressive and Dementia – a network funded by the Chief Scientist Office of Scottish Government to support high-quality clinical research into neurological conditions and dementia across NHS Scotland.
Emma Law, Network Manager, commented:
“We are delighted to be working closely with the MND-SMART team to deliver this study in our network sites across Scotland. MND is devastating for those living with the disease, and it is only through research that we will be able to find treatments that can slow, stop or reverse its progression. We will be working with the MND-SMART team to ensure a smooth and quick study set up across Scotland.
“Our goal as a network is to ensure everyone who wishes to participate in research has an opportunity and we are delighted this is being realised for those living with Motor Neurone Disease.”
Find out more
- Read the full news release from MND Scotland
- Read more about NRS Neuroprogressive and Dementia
- Read more about MND
- How to take part in the MND-SMART trial
- MND Scotland
- My Name’5 Doddie Foundation
- Euan McDonald Centre
- The Anne Rowling Clinic