The Florey welcomes funding to fight motor neurone disease

Researchers from The Florey will be hard at work in the search for diagnostics, treatments and potentially cures for motor neurone disease, with thanks to funding from FightMND.

Sharing in a record-breaking $10.6m raised by FightMND, The Florey’s teams will be taking multiple approaches to the devastating neurodegenerative disease.

  • Associate Professor Bradley Turner will advance an already available therapeutic to maximise its benefit and access to the brain, designing, screening and developing an optimal form of the drug. The team hopes that the study will move towards testing of this therapeutic in a clinical trial for MND patients within the next 4 – 5 years.
  • Dr Fazel Shabanpoor aims to develop a drug delivery platform technology for safe and efficient delivery of therapeutics into the brain and spinal cord. The establishment and trial of this technology would provide a safe and innovative way to allow drugs to reach their targets to achieve the desired therapeutic effects.
  • Dr Sophia Luikinga aims to develop a blood test that detects materials, called lipis, that are known to change in MND. Using highly sensitive detection methods, the project will assess the levels of specific lipid metabolites in serum and plasma. The team hope that the project could deliver new ways to detect MND, and assess the effectiveness of potential treatments.
  • Dr Samantha Barton will be using skin cells donated from volunteers with MND, to grow stem cells and generate a 3-dimensional mini-spinal cord model which will allow the study of oligodendrocyte, which is known to be important in providing structural support and energy supply to motor neurones.

“We are grateful to FightMND and the amazing generosity of its supporters for helping us to carry out these vital studies which we hope, in turn, will deliver benefits back to people living with MND and their families,” said Associate Professor Brad Turner.

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