Motor Neurone Disease Research: Government Funding

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:07 am on 13th December 2022.

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Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care) 11:07 am, 13th December 2022

It is good to hear from my hon. Friend. Credit goes to him for his campaigning, both personally and as chair of the APPG on motor neurone disease, together with that of other Members of Parliament, to push for investment to get out to the frontline on research. I look forward to working with him further so we can ensure this investment in research makes a difference for people suffering from MND and their carers, and for those in the future.

I have just mentioned the MND collaborative partnership, which is a mechanism by which the many initiatives that I just described will come together. The first meeting of this virtual institute took place at the end of November, and I am looking forward to hearing about further progress now that the funding is in place. The remainder of the committed £50 million of MND funding is available for researchers to access via the NIHR and the Medical Research Council. Government will support researchers in coming forward with ideas for new research via a joint highlight notice between NIHR and the Medical Research Council on MND. That will allow our funding to be responsive to progress in science and ensure breakthroughs reach patients in the quickest possible time. Further to that, the Secretary of State will shortly host leading researchers and patient groups at a roundtable to discuss MND research and help researchers make the best bids as quickly as possible. That addresses the call for a meeting from the hon. Member for Kingston upon Hull East.