Part of a wider funding package
Research into MND has been given a vital boost after the UK government pledged £50 million to help find a cure for the disease.
United to End MND, a coallition of campaigners, academics and charities, has been urging the government to invest £50 million over five years into targeted MND research.
Now the call has been listened to, bringing new hope of finding meaningful treatments for people living with MND.
The funding is part of a wider package of £375 million to invest in innovative research for neurodegenerative diseases over the next five years.
The United to End MND campaign - led by MND Scotland, My Name'5 Doddie Foundation, MND Association, people living with MND and neurologists - has been calling on the goverment to fund a virtual centre of excellence for MND research, providing the infrastructure needed for accelerating treatments for MND.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "This cruel and debilitating illness kills six people in our country every single day, with a third of those diagnosed tragically losing their lives within just a year.
"We cannot continue like this.
"So we are going to throw the full weight of government, industry and civil society behind a new British-led scientific mission to transform the fight against this devastating disease."
Rachel Maitland, MND Scotland’s chief executive, said: “This is a monumental day for everyone in the MND community. We have made incredible strides in MND research over the past few years and now almost every person in Scotland has access to a MND clinical drug trial. Today, this life-changing investment from the UK government will help accelerate our progress even further, bringing us closer than ever to finding effective treatments for this cruel disease.
“I am so proud to have been part of the incredible team of people who made this happen, and want to thank everyone who has joined our campaign. In particular, all of those living with MND whose determination to find a cure has driven this campaign to success.
"This is a real turning point for the progress in MND research and will bring hope to so many across the country. We have lost too many lives to this devastating disease already, so thank you for listening to us, hearing us and taking action in our fight against MND."
Two years ago the United to End MNDcampaign started with a group of five patients, determined to accelerate the search for a cure for this devastating disease, for which there are currently no effective treatments.
Joining forces with charities MND Scotland, MND Association and My Name'5 Doddie Foundation, as well as leading researchers and neurologists, and others living with the disease 'United to End MND' was born. The campaign called for the UK Government to fund £50 million into targeted MND research.
In March 2021, a petition was launched in the name of former rugby star Doddie Weir, and soon gained over 100,000 signatures from the public in support of our call to the UK Government. The petition was debated in the UK Parliament in July 2021 and on the same day, a Spending Review bid from the campaign coalition was handed in to the UK Government.
Following this, a personal letter from hundreds of people living with MND to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, pleading for funding, was presented at 10 Downing Street on 21st September, by sporting legends Rob Burrow and Stephen Darby, along with others with the disease.
The United to End MND coalition expressed disappointment just last month following the announcement of the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021, where a call was not included. Now, the UK Government has taken action and announced its commitment to fund £375 million into neurodegenerative diseases, which includes £50 million over five years into target MND research.