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New research commitment welcomed but Government must address neurological research funding gap

MS Australia has welcomed the Government’s pledge to invest in health and medical research but is concerned that not enough attention or funding is being dedicated to neurological research.

Australia’s national multiple sclerosis (MS) not-for-profit organisation says neurological conditions must be considered a major national priority for medical research and has repeated its calls for the establishment of a dedicated Neurological Research Mission.

MS Australia CEO Rohan Greenland says the ‘Health Research for a Future Made in Australia’ package promises to deliver a more strategic and coordinated approach to research funding.

“I’m very pleased to see the Government reaffirm its commitment to Research Missions through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) with the establishment of two new Missions.

“Given the Government’s position is to establish new missions, MS Australia will continue its calls to the Government to allocate funding to establish a MRFF Neurological Mission,” Mr Greenland said.

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Millions of Australians live with a progressive neurological or neuromuscular condition in Australia, with an annual cost to the Australian economy of over $36 billion.

MS Australia President Associate Professor Des Graham says Neurological conditions must be a major national priority for medical research.

“The establishment of an MRFF Neurological Mission would assist in bringing together key researchers, health professionals, stakeholders, industry partners and patients to tackle the health challenges related to neurological conditions,” Associate Professor Graham said.

Last week’s Government announcement also included funding through the MRFF for CureMOG: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicentre phase III clinical trial for the treatment of MOGAD. Myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibody-associated disease (MOGAD) is an inflammatory demyelinating disorder affecting the brain and spinal cord. MOGAD is an MS-related condition which can sometimes be confused for MS. MS Australia was a partner on this application, which received $2,806,584. The trial is being led by Associate Professor Sudarshini Ramanathan from The University of Sydney.

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