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In November last year, in response to our crusade, Boris Johnson pledged the funding to find effective treatments for the brutal terminal condition. But with not a penny of the £50million having been received by scientists a year on from this, the Government has been under pressure to remove the red tape.
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay will tomorrow unveil a £29.5million package of funding for MND research. This will include £12.5million for the UK Dementia Research Institute to support innovative research into the links between MND and dementia, presenting new possibilities for targeted drug development.
This recognises the fact that the underlying mechanisms of MND are shared with frontal temporal lobe dementia.
Writing for this newspaper today Mr Barclay says: “We must do all we can to support these projects – which include understanding how different types of MND are passed on genetically and even unlocking new treatment options for patients using gene therapy.”
The remaining £20.5million funding will be available for scientists to access via government research bodies the National Institute for Health and Care Research and the Medical Research Council.
The £50million was pledged after the Sunday Express teamed up with United To End MND, a coalition of patients, such as sports stars Rob Burrow and the late Doddie Weir, plus scientists and charities, to campaign for funds to unite research at university hospitals across Britain under a virtual national research institute.
The United To End MND coalition last night released a statement in response to the funding package.
It said: “We welcome the fact Mr Barclay has listened to campaigners urging for delivery of the £50million investment in targeted MND research. We would like to understand more about his plans so we can fully understand what the distribution of the funding will look like before commenting fully.We hope to have a chance to discuss this with Mr Barclay soon.”
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