With so much of the daily news focused on Covid 19 it may seem like MSA research has been abandoned or pushed to the back burner. This is just not so. Much activity related to MSA research continues to go on behind the scenes at the MSA Coalition.
Our Research Committee has met twice since March to continue developing our plans to coordinate more focused Collaborative Core Research Projects involving Genetics, MSA laboratory Models, Biomarkers and Environmental factors. If you missed our exciting announcement about this late last year please see our press release.
Our Scientific Advisors have also been hard at work this spring, reviewing and scoring 26 research grant proposals which we received from researchers working in 15 countries. Each time we put out a call for proposals, MSA researchers around the world are eager to answer with their ideas. We are grateful to our advisors and researchers everywhere for their dedication to this rare disease.
The Board of Directors will very soon pick the top recommended research projects to receive funding so they can get started on their important work this year. Watch for an announcement soon with more details about the lucky projects. The decision of which research projects to pass over and which to fund is not an easy one but we have a lengthy and rigorous process we borrowed from the Michael J Fox Foundation to ensure the highest calibre projects are chosen.
Members of our Research and Executive committees are keeping in close contact with various representatives of the pharmaceutical industry as we continue to partner to assist them in spreading the word to MSA patients about their clinical trials. Some members of the MSA community may have participated in online or telephone surveys recently. These types of activities help pharmaceutical companies learn important information from patients themselves that can help to ensure future clinical trials are designed with the patient’s needs at the forefront. Special thanks to those in the MSA community who volunteer to participate.
All in all it remains an exciting and optimistic time for MSA research as our MSA treatment pipeline continues to grow and build hope. Keep the faith and stay safe everyone.