£50m Victory for MND Research

The UK Government commits to £50 million investment over five years into targeted MND research.

£50m Victory for MND Research

Posted : 13/11/2021


Today, the UK Government has pledged £50 million to help find a cure for motor neurone disease (MND), following our United to End MND campaign. 

We have been urging the UK Government to invest £50 million over five years into targeted MND research. Now our call has been listened to, bringing new hope of finding meaningful treatments for people living with MND. The funding is part of a wider package of £375 million to invest in innovative research for neurodegenerative diseases over the next five years. 

The United to End MND campaign - led by MND Scotland, My Name'5 Doddie Foundation, MND Association, people living with MND and neurologists - has been calling on the Goverment to fund a virtual centre of excellence for MND research, providing the infrastructure needed for accelerating treatments for MND. 

Speaking to the Sunday Express, which has been championing the campaign, the Prime Minister said: "I want to congratulate the charities, the Sunday Express and all its readers for your fantastic campaign to fund the fight against Motor Neurone Disease.

"This cruel and debilitating illness kills six people in our country every single day, with a third of those diagnosed tragically losing their lives within just a year.

"We cannot continue like this.

"So we are going to throw the full weight of government, industry and civil society behind a new British-led scientific mission to transform the fight against this devastating disease."

Health Secretary Sajid Javid, told the Sunday Express: Together, I am confident we can make life better for the thousands of people living with MND in this country. Neurodegenerative conditions like MND can have a devastating impact on people’s lives and I’m committed to ensuring the Government does everything we can to fight these diseases and support those affected. 

“We’ve already invested ­millions in understanding and treating MND, and our new funding commitment will back more research into this and other neurodegenerative diseases.” 

Rachel Maitland, MND Scotland’s Chief Executive, said: “This is a monumental day for everyone in the MND community. We have made incredible strides in MND research over the past few years and now almost every person in Scotland has access to a MND clinical drug trial. Today, this life-changing investment from the UK Government will help accelerate our progress even further, bringing us closer than ever to finding effective treatments for this cruel disease.

“I am so proud to have been part of the incredible team of people who made this happen, and want to thank everyone who has joined our campaign. In particular, all of those living with MND whose determination to find a cure has driven this campaign to success.

"This is a real turning point for the progress in MND research and will bring hope to so many across the country. We have lost too many lives to this devastating disease already, so thank you for listening to us, hearing us and taking action in our fight against MND."

Thank from the bottom of our hearts to everyone who has united with us and contributed to this incredible success. We will continue funding pioneering MND research across the UK to bring us closer to finding a cure. If you can, please join us by donating today

How did we get here?

Two years ago the United to End MND campaign started with a group of five patients, determined to accelarate the search for a cure for this devastating disease, for which there are currently no effective treatments. 

Joining forces with charities MND Scotland, MND Association and My Name'5 Doddie Foundation, as well as leading researchers and neurologists, and others living with the disease 'United to End MND' was born. The campaign called for the UK Government to fund £50 million into targeted MND research. 

In March 2021, a petition was launched in the name of former rugby star Doddie Weir, and soon gained over 100,000 signatures from the public in support of our call to the UK Government. The petition was debated in the UK Parliament in July 2021 and on the same day, a Spending Review bid from the campaign coalition was handed in to the UK Government. 

Following this, a personal letter from hundreds of people living with MND to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, pleading for funding, was presented at 10 Downing Street on 21st September, by sporting legends Rob Burrow and Stephen Darby, along with others with the disease.

The United to End MND coalition expressed disappointment just last month following the announcement of the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021, where our call was not included. Now, the UK Government has taken action and announced its commitment to fund £375 million into neurodegenerative diseases, which includes £50 million over five years into target MND research. 

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“This is a real turning point for the progress in MND research and will bring hope to so many across the country.”

Rachel Maitland | MND Scotland

Rachel Maitland | MND Scotland