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Dundee drugs trial for MND opens

The groundbreaking MND clinical drugs trial is now opened to participants in Tayside.

Posted : 12/08/2020

The groundbreaking motor neurone disease (MND) clinical drugs trial, MND-SMART, has now opened to participants in Tayside.

The trial will be based at the Clinical Research Centre at Ninewells hospital in Dundee, welcoming participants from across the NHS Tayside region. This is the second UK trial centre to open, following the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic in Edinburgh.

MND-SMART - which MND Scotland has invested £1.5m into - is a pioneering clinical drugs trial in its reach and design that launched in January this year. The trial is recruiting hundreds of people living with MND across the UK to take part in tests of potential treatments.

Unlike typical clinical drugs trials which test a single treatment at a time, MND-SMART is testing multiple drugs and so aims to speed up the time it takes to find medicines that can slow, stop, or reverse the progression of, MND.

The trial has been developed by people with MND and clinical trial experts from across the UK. 

Since the announcement of the trial’s launch in January, over 1000 people with MND from across the UK have registered their interest in taking part.

People who have already registered interest in the trial and who live in the NHS Tayside region, will be contacted by the Dundee trial team over the coming months to discuss taking part.

Dr Ian Morrison, Consultant Neurologist and Lead for Motor Neurone Disease in Tayside, said: “We have been working for some time with the organisers of MND-SMART. I am delighted that Tayside is now the second centre in the UK to recruit patients into this groundbreaking trial.

"MND is a devastating diagnosis to receive and our current treatments have only limited benefit.

"The MND-SMART trial now offers a real opportunity to assess alternative drugs which may greatly benefit people living with this condition.”

David Smith from Scone, who is living with MND said: “There is very little hope when you receive an MND diagnosis, but this new clinical trial offers some optimism. I hope the discoveries from this research will benefit people like me in years to come and bring about an improvement in quality of life.”

Craig Stockton, MND Scotland Chief Executive, said: “It is really fantastic to see the second trial centre for MND-SMART opening. This will give more people with MND in Scotland the opportunity to take part in the biggest MND drugs trial in the country.

“MND Scotland’s £1.5m investment into this trial would not have been possible without the constant and generous support of our fundraisers and donors. Thank you to everyone who helped make this a reality and we now look forward to more centres opening across the UK soon.”

The study is led by the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research at the University of Edinburgh. For more information about the trial, please visit www.MND-SMART.org.