Working with industry

The UK MND network consists of experienced MND researchers and professionals located throughout the UK, which provides the geographical coverage required to conduct multi-centre MND studies that can deliver to time and target.

Positive reasons for bringing commercial research into the UK

Members can provide early advice on whether a potential study will be supported by the clinical community and will be feasible within the NHS (eg available resources, acceptability of the control regimen, compatibility with UK clinical practice). We encourage commercial sponsors to engage with the group at the earliest stages of development, to ensure that we can feed into study designs and ensure they are deliverable within the UK. The group has extensive experience working with NHS Trusts across the country to develop and implement strategies to increase their capacity to deliver commercial research and a track record of collaborative research.

Clinician members include leading NHS neurology consultants and clinical academics from top UK universities, bringing both clinical and academic expertise to your research. They are experts in their field and have academic excellence in MND research, with experience of working with commercial partners to understand their needs with studies in the pipeline and with the delivery of commercial trials within the UK.

Members hold information in strict confidence and are used to dealing with commercially sensitive material and thus industrial parties can be reassured that documents and discussions remain confidential.

The group has a coordinator who is experienced with setting up complex multi-centre trials and can guide companies through the ethical and research governance processes in the UK.

Key stakeholders our group works with to support the MND Portfolio include:

Performance and delivery

The group has worked together effectively in designing, setting up and recruiting to many complex multi-centre studies, including academic-led drug trials. They are experienced at gaining grant funding, and ensuring that outcomes of the research they conduct are carried forward into clinical practice where a benefit to patients is indicated.

The MND network has grown steadily over the years and now successfully supports a mixed portfolio of non-commercial and commercial research.

Since 2009, 55 studies have been completed, recruiting 10,287 participants. The majority of these have closed to recruitment either ahead of or on time, and reached or surpassed their target.

Bar chart: Recruitment to time and target and number of studies closed

Through the Clinical Studies Group, and the effective channels of communication it provides throughout the UK network, we are able to support the increasingly complex trials (evidenced by the increased number of drug trials, each recruiting smaller numbers of participants) coming through the pipeline in recent years.

Bar chart: MND Portfolio drug trials increasing