A/Prof Joe Nicolazzo receives IMPACT grant from FIGHTMND

FightMND has announced a major funding commitment to advance research into Motor Neurone Disease as the fight to find effective treatments and a cure for the disease continues.

This announcement represents FightMND’s ongoing commitment to MND research with $9 million being injected into world-leading research across 15 separate research projects, led by Australia’s best and brightest researchers, with all projects commencing within the next six months.

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Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Associate Dean of Graduate Research, Associate Professor Joe Nicolazzo, has been awarded one of seven IMPACT grants to enhance drug delivery for MND.

This investment takes the total amount of funds invested by FightMND to $37.6 million since 2014. As a result of the extraordinary success of this year’s Big Freeze 5 campaign, combined with the incredible support of the Australian public’s community fundraising efforts, FightMND can make this significant commitment to additional research projects.

Among the new projects funded are three clinical drug trials, one drug development project, seven projects aimed at improving and accelerating the process of bringing new treatments to clinical trial, and early and midcareer Research Fellowships. This funding also provides on-going support for the Sporadic ALS Australian –Systems Genomics Consortium (SALSA-SGC), a national program that collects and analyses samples from
MND patients at eight clinics across Australia.

In making the announcement, FightMND CEO Jamie Howden thanked the Australian public for its unwavering support and fundraising efforts which makes this level and scope of investment into vital research possible.

“FightMND is extremely fortunate to have our FightMND Army behind us every step of the way and we are continually humbled by how strongly our loyal and committed supporters respond when we ask them to donate to the fight, and we couldn’t do it without them.

“This announcement is another major and progressive step in our quest to discover more effective treatments and a cure for Motor Neurone Disease and we are looking forward to seeing these projects commence and closely monitor their progress”, Howden said.

“MND medical researchers and clinicians, both in Australia and abroad, are firmly committed to discovering positive outcomes for the treatment of MND. FightMND is pleased to be able to play a key role in funding this vital research work and is possible thanks to the generosity of all our donors, corporate partners, fundraisers and supporters. We also acknowledge and thank the Federal Morrison Government, Federal Health Minister, Hon. Greg Hunt and Victorian Premier, Hon. Daniel Andrews and his Government for their incredible support.

“We are now making an impact on fighting the disease and are seeing some early and potentially positive signs from clinical trials and drug development projects already underway. There is more momentum in global MND research than ever before, but the fight does continue in earnest with these exciting upcoming projects,” Howden said.

Project: Enhancing drug delivery in MND – Drug delivery (Project lead: A/Prof Joseph Nicolazzo, Monash University) - Victoria
This project examines the function of the barrier that normally prevents the transfer of substances from the blood to the brain. The aim is to improve the ability of potential drugs to access the brain and treat MND more effectively

Contact: Divya Krishnan


Email: divya.krishnan@monash.edu