One tablet to relieve chest pain, another used to control HIV, and a test drug tiny enough to slip into the brain to reactivate the cells, will be tested for their ability to cure motor diseases, part of a new $ 9 million breast research war.
FightMND announced 15 new research projects and drug trials yesterday – the largest funded by a hit by the Neale Daniher Foundation, using money raised largely through the Big Freeze At & # 39; G.
The legendary charity received a record 69 funding requests worldwide.
The University of Queensland will try trimetazidine, which treats angina and heart failure by normalizing energy expenditure. This over-active metabolism itself is a key factor in the appearance and spread of MND.
Sydney researchers will test whether an experimental compound, currently being tested for multiple sclerosis, can slow the progress of MND in a 42-patient trial.
Professor Steve Vucic of Westmead Hospital said: "This ultra-small compound enters the brain where it restores the ability of nerve cells to perform the basic function of communication. It's a whole new approach."
In the larger study, more than 360 patients across Australia, Europe and the UK will be hired to test the potential ability of the HIV drug Triumeq to shut down an ancient genome-hidden virus called HERV-K. There is emerging evidence that if this virus is activated, it can cause motor neuron death.
Seven researchers have also won grants to work out why some previous trials of possible therapies have failed. They will look at improving the ability of drugs to reach the brain, better ways of diagnosing subtypes of disease to ensure that the right patient receives the right treatment and to test the credibility of using stem cells as a brain repair method.
Tasmania researchers will develop a new drug to protect motor neurons. All projects will begin within the next six months.
FightMND chief Jamie Howden said "there has been more momentum in global MND research than ever", something that was largely made possible by community donations.
The father of two, David Kelly, 35, who was diagnosed with MND two years ago, was in a trial funded by FightMND to see if a multiple sclerosis drug could slow progress.
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The Point Cook engineer, who now often relies on a skeleton or wheelchair, said research into the cause of the disease was vital.
"What FightMND is doing to fund multiple aspects is very good. They not only look at prolonged quality and quantity of life, but they also look at the underlying causes. Once they are known to be able to solve it," he said.