Media event date: 
27 June 2020
Date published: 
29 June 2020
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The Australian Government will provide more than $1 million to Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, to support a clinical trial of new therapies for young patients who cannot make enough blood cells due to bone marrow failure.

The RESELECT clinical trial will test a number of new treatments for relapsed acquired aplastic anaemia or Bone Marrow Failure Syndrome (BMFS) in younger Australians.

It will give patients immediate access to new medicines and combination therapies. At the same time, it will develop a platform to deliver innovative treatments, including cutting edge cellular and gene therapies, to future patients.

The grant will be provided immediately to Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision, which operates the Centre of Research Excellence in Bone Marrow Biology, a virtual centre bringing together leading Australian researchers in the field.

Partners in the trial are Royal Melbourne Hospital, ACRF Translational Research Laboratory Melbourne, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Fiona Stanley Hospital in Murdoch, Western Australia, and St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney.

BMFS is a group of inherited or acquired rare disorders where a person’s bone marrow does not produce enough blood cells for normal life. Aplastic anaemia is the most common.

BMFS patients have a high risk of developing cancer, including leukaemia and certain solid tumours.

Approximately 160 Australians, the majority of whom are children or adolescents, are diagnosed with a BMFS each year. More than 50 per cent of these patients will die from their disease.

The clinical trial has the potential to improve quality of life and extend the lifespan of Australian patients with very high risk BMFS.

Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision helps young people suffering from BMFS through research and support for treatments and prevention. It was established by the Riewoldt family in 2015 in honour of Maddie, who died after a five-year struggle with aplastic anaemia.

The grant is being made under the Medical Research Future Fund’s (MRFF) Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research Initiative.

This investment follows the success of an existing investment of $1 million that supported Maddie Riewoldt’s Vision to attract clinical trials to Australia to improve the medical outcomes of Australian patients with Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes.

The $20 billion MRFF is supporting vital health and medical research, to improve the lives of sick Australians and save lives, now and into the future.

The Emerging Priorities and Consumer Driven Research Initiative supports high quality research to improve patient care, translates new discoveries into practice and encourages joint collaboration between consumers and researchers in emerging priority areas.

More information on the MRFF can be found at: www.health.gov.au/mrff.

Ministers: