Charity founded by Doddie Weir passes £11m milestone for MND research

Charity founded by Doddie Weir passes £11m milestone for MND research

Former Scotland rugby international Doddie Weir died last year (PA)

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The foundation set up by late rugby star Doddie Weir has vowed the relentless pursuit of a world free of MND will be his legacy one year on from his death.

My Name’5 Doddie Foundation (MNDF) has now committed more than £11 million to 40 research projects to help find effective treatments and, one day, a cure for the disease.

The charity, set up by Weir following his diagnosis in 2016, launched a five-year research strategy, Catalysing a Cure, in April this year.

It set out how millions of pounds will be invested into innovative research to find treatments and ultimately a cure for MND, which affects around 5,000 people in the UK at any one time.

It is hoped the research – led by Professor Rickie Patani – could one day lead to new targets for drugs that treat MND.

The announcement follows other major commitments made to projects including up to £250,000 to a King’s College London study, led by Dr Andrea Perera, aiming to develop a new gene therapy for MND and optimise a new technique to deliver it to the motor neurons.

It also includes £50,000 seed funding for more UCL research attempting to unravel the biomarker and therapeutic potential of a well-known protein in MND.

If successful, it could help improve the way new treatments are tested in the future.

One year on from Doddie’s death, his presence is as large as ever as a symbol of hope and unity in our relentless drive towards a world free of MND

Jill Douglas, foundation chief executive

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