Major funding boost for Florey MND research

Significant funding awarded by The Stafford Fox Medical Research Foundation will take The Florey’s Motor Neurone Disease (MND) research endeavours to new heights.

A $3.2 million grant will see The Florey MND team pursue new drug targets, aiming to deliver potential treatments for MND patients over five years.

Head of the MND Laboratory at The Florey and leading a team of 25 researchers, Associate Professor Brad Turner revealed the team’s focus on investigation enabled by the grant.

“This funding will launch the Stafford Fox Translational MND Research Program.  This research will consolidate key therapeutic leads and target multiple disease pathways, including anti-oxidant-driven motor neuron death, defective MND genes and toxic protein build-up in motor neurons,” explained Associate Professor Turner.

“Our aim is to rapidly advance these discoveries to the next research stage through use of cutting-edge laboratory models and therapeutic strategies to develop effective drug and gene-based treatment approaches.”

The research venture builds on previous funding from The Stafford Fox Medical Research Foundation, where The Florey team successfully developed and validated novel pre-clinical treatment approaches for MND. The funding additionally assisted in the development of an anti-inflammatory drug which has since advanced to clinical trial in MND.

Now the MND team are taking their ground-breaking findings to the next level, aiming to translate findings from their innovative research models into clinical applications.

Over the next 5 years, the team will attack MND on multiple fronts, using small molecules, biological therapeutics and synthetic DNA drugs to:
•    Target a new anti-oxidant pathway of motor neuron death in MND
•    Develop novel peptides to boost the clearance of toxic proteins in MND
•    Engineer next-generation designer DNA drugs to correct defective MND genes

“This research will provide critical support for the continued development of these therapeutic approaches, and we are optimistic it will mean we may be one step closer to effective treatments for MND patients,” commented Associate Professor Turner.

“We thank The Stafford Fox Medical Research Foundation and its Trustees, Mr Ken Wallace and Mr Paul Brotchie, for its generous support and continued engagement with The Florey to deliver new research outcomes which we hope will ultimately benefit people living with MND and their families,” added Associate Professor Turner.