Supporting MND-SMART

The Foundation has committed its largest pledge to date, supporting MND-SMART with a £1.275M investment. Following this pledge, the Trustees met the team in Edinburgh in August 2023, visiting the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research and the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic.

We’re delighted to announce that the Alan Davidson Foundation has pledged £1.275M investment in MND-SMART over 5 years to further increase opportunities for people living with MND across the UK to participate in the trial.

Prior to the launch of MND-SMART, fewer than 5% of people living with MND in the UK participated in clinical trials. Now, since its launch in 2020, MND-SMART has recruited nearly 600 participants.

One of the team’s goals is to deliver equitable, diverse and inclusive access to MND-SMART across the UK, irrespective of geography, ethnicity and socioeconomic background. To this end, there are now 20 trial sites open in all four home nations of the UK, and people from the Shetland Isles to the Isle of Wight have been able to take part.

One barrier to trial opportunities for people with MND is the shortage of dedicated and adequately trained research nurses/practitioners and neurologists. The generous funding from the Alan Davidson Foundation will enable MND-SMART to continue to open new sites and expand their national infrastructure by supporting staff time and training, particularly in centres that are not currently active in MND trials, including district general hospitals.

Through this ever-expanding infrastructure MND-SMART hope to promote participation particularly in ethnic minority, rural and deprived populations.

“We are continuously striving to improve equity of access to trials for people with MND regardless of location, socio-economic status, or ethnicity. We are incredibly grateful for this far sighted investment in MND SMART from the Alan Davidson Foundation and look forward to working closely together to open several new sites across the UK including in areas where MND trials have not been available before.” 

Professor Suvankar Pal, co-Lead of MND-SMART

The Alan Davidson Foundation is named after Alan Davidson who was diagnosed with MND in 2012 and died in 2018. The Foundation supports a wide range of organisations, charities and worthy causes. There is a strong focus on MND research, care and initiatives that help support those with disabling neurological conditions. It also supports architecture and architectural initiatives, most notably through The Davidson Prize.

The investment by the Foundation builds upon and extends the ongoing support for MND-SMART provided by the Euan MacDonald Centre for MND Research, MND Scotland, MND Association, and the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation.

“We are delighted to be able to support the MND-SMART team in creating more opportunities for MND patients to participate in trials, and further strengthen the impressive trial support infrastructure which has been so far assembled. It is only through such continuous dedicated and caring efforts that MND may eventually be controlled or cured, whilst keeping hope alive in those who suffer from this awful condition.”

Colin Reid, ADF Trustee