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Lighthouse II – NZ’s first multi-site phase 3 clinical trial announced

Living with MND, NZ MND Registry, Research

28 July 2022

Blog Medic

By October of this year, a small group of New Zealanders living with Motor Neuron Disease will begin their journey as members of the first-ever international phase 3 MND clinical trial to be offered in New Zealand, across multiple locations.

The Lighthouse II trial looks at whether human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) play a role in motor neurone disease. Invitations to participate were extended to MND research teams across all regions in New Zealand.

Four centres – BOP, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin elected to take up this opportunity and the trial will be overseen in New Zealand by Principal Investigator, Dr Alan Stanley, Hawkes Bay neurologist and MND New Zealand Council member. 

“There are just 20 places available for NZ-based MND clients but even though this trial is relatively small in reach, we see Lighthouse II as a significant milestone in our plans to gain access to more clinical trials for our community here in New Zealand” says Dr Claire Reilly MND Community & Research Advisor.

To be able to fund this sort of research trial here in New Zealand is testimony to the incredible fundraising support from across Aotearoa. It also represents years of effort by MND New Zealand, advocating for our community and establishing systems that connect those of us living with MND and helping to make us more accessible to the global network of researchers who are helping to fight this disease.”

The New Zealand MND Registry, also funded by MND New Zealand, was established in 2017 to connect MND patients with international research opportunities. It has also been credited as one of the key mechanisms that captured the attention of the Lighthouse II trial team.

“We are urging all of those living with MND to join the register if they haven’t already” explains Claire.

“Having a comprehensive register will be critical to us securing future research opportunities for Kiwi’s living with MND.

There is a range of criteria researchers will apply when selecting participants for this Lighthouse II phase 3 trial, but first and foremost, for clients to be considered, they must be part of the NZ MND registry.”

Screening for participants for the Lighthouse II trial will commence in September with the trial starting in October. In keeping with research best practice the NZ MND Registry will make direct contact with those people who are eligible and will work with them on the next steps required by the four research centres.

To register with the NZ MND Registry visit here.

For more information about this trial visit the research section of our website here.

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