Date published: 
11 January 2019
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The Liberal National Government has today welcomed news of a medical research breakthrough that could soon benefit 2,000 Australians living with motor neurone disease (MND).

MND is a condition where the nerve cells that control the muscles that allow people to move, speak, swallow and breathe fail to work normally, the nerve cells eventually die and leave the muscles to gradually weaken and waste.

Clinical trials at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health at the University of Melbourne have identified that the drug, CuATSM, slows the progression of the disease by 70 per cent.

Not only have the trials produced amazing results, it is the first time a treatment has acted on the cause of the ¬disease in humans, rather than just on the symptoms - giving patients a longer, better quality of life.

I congratulate the Institute on their results, and would also like to thank Neale Daniher’s and the Fight MND Foundation for their determination and ongoing support in finding a cure.

The clinical trials were able to be funded from the funds raised through the Big Freeze 4 fundraising event at the MCG in 2017, when the Liberal National Government matched donations, dollar-for-dollar.

It’s collaborative approaches between community and government that deliver important results and cures for Australian patients.

The Government has invested nearly $11 million through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and $27.7 million through the Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to support ongoing research in finding a breakthrough cure for MND.

Our Government’s strong economic management ensures we continue to invest record amounts of funding into vital health initiatives including mental health, life-saving medicines, Medicare and hospitals.