Biomedical Research

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 7th December 2009.

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Photo of Paul Rowen Paul Rowen Shadow Work and Pensions Minister

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what biomedical research into myalgic encephalomyelitis and xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus is being undertaken.

Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Higher Education and Intellectual Property)

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. The MRC is an independent body which receives its grant in aid from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

In 2008-09 the MRC's total expenditure for research relating to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) amounted to £728,000. This supported four projects including a £164,000 research programme led by Dr. C Clark at Queen Mary College, London on the general and specific risk markers and preventive factors for chronic fatigue and irritable bowel syndromes. CFS/ME continues to be a strategic priority area for funding and the MRC remains committed to supporting scientific research into all aspects of CFS/ME including evaluations of treatments and studies into the biological basis of the condition.

The MRC recently held a CFS/ME research workshop where the recent xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus (XMRV) findings were among the items discussed. A note of the discussions will be published on the MRC website in due course.

The MRC's National Institute for Medical Research are leading a programme on infection and replication of retroviruses (including XMRV). One study within the programme is looking at how XMRV reproduces in the cell, its interaction with host cell factors and how it subverts the host immune systems.

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Annotations

Jane Birkby
Posted on 8 Dec 2009 11:30 pm (Report this annotation)

At last some relevant research on a possible cause, and not before time, but, how much funding will be allocated to this XMRV research?
Will it be enough to give a definitive test for the illness?
Also where did this virus come from?