MND-SMART

Hundreds of people living with MND are now being invited to take part in one of the UK’s most comprehensive clinical trials in a generation.

Motor Neurone Disease – Systematic Multi-arm Adaptive Randomisation Trial (MND-SMART) is a landmark drug trial designed to speed up the time it takes to find medicines that can slow, stop, or reverse the progression of Motor Neurone Disease.

The trial is being led by researchers at the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research at the University of Edinburgh and the trial will include as many people with MND as possible, regardless of how the disease or current treatments affect them.

Trial design

While typical clinical trials focus on a single drug, MND-SMART will use a "multi-arm" trial design which will allow more than one treatment to be tested at a time. This will give patients a higher chance of receiving an active treatment, rather than a placebo.

The clinical trial is designed to be adaptive so that the researchers can modify their approach according to emerging results. New drugs can be added once the trial has started, while medicines that prove ineffective can be dropped.

Initially researchers will test drugs that are already licensed for use in other conditions to check whether they offer any benefit for people with MND.

This re-purposing of existing drugs avoids some of the lengthy approvals processes associated with new drugs and could cut years off the time taken for the medications to become available to people with MND through the NHS.

Our investment in MND-SMART

We committed to bringing more MND trials to Scotland in 2020. As a result, MND Scotland has invested £1.5 million in MND-SMART to allow this pivotal drug trial to take place. This investment accounts for more than half of the charity’s annual turnover, highlighting the importance of the charity’s mission to find a cure.

Additional funding for the trial has also been made available from the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation and the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research.

Location

MND-SMART is now recruiting people with MND in Edinburgh - which is the first centre to come online.

Trial centres will then come online across the UK in 2020 in the following locations: Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cambridge, Dundee, East London, Glasgow, Inverness, Irvine, Newcastle, Salford and Southampton.

How do I participate in the trial?

People with MND are invited to register interest in the trial at www.MND-SMART.org. The first participants will be seen in Edinburgh with other clinics across the UK joining during 2020.

quote marks

“Today is an historic moment in our fightback against Motor Neurone Disease... this is one of the biggest MND trials the UK has ever seen.”

Lawrence Cowan | MND Scotland Chairman

Lawrence Cowan | MND Scotland Chairman