Research part-funded by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity contributes to treatment for Multiple Sclerosis
On 1st November 2012, it was announced that Phase III trials into a new drug 'alemtuzumab', have been successful - establishing that this is an effective treatment for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients.
The Freemasons' Grand Charity gave £100,000 towards this research in 2010, at the University of Cambridge.
"Our research shows the transformative effect that alemtuzumab can have for people with MS. Patients who continue to show disease activity while on their initial therapy are especially difficult to treat. Now, we have shown that alemtuzumab works where first-line drugs have already failed. It not only reduces the chances of disability associated with MS but may even result in long-term clinical improvements", said Professor Alastair Coles, lead author of the paper and a Clinician at the University of Cambridge.
Dr Cole's team has been investigating how to detect people who are susceptible to side-effects - this is the research specifically funded by The Freemasons' Grand Charity.
"Although alemtuzumab causes potentially serious side-effects, these can be identified and treated providing a monitoring schedule is carefully followed. Additionally, we think that we can identify which patients are at risk of autoimmune disease after alemtuzumab, and we are currently recruiting for a clinical trial which will further explore whether we can use a drug to reduce the risk of autoimmunity in those at highest risk", said Dr Coles.
Decisions on drug licences for alemtuzumab are expected in 2013.
The Freemasons' Grand Charity is delighted to have been involved in this successful research, which it hopes will help thousands of people in the future.
The latest Major Grants from The Freemasons' Grand Charity have been approved, totalling £1,058,000.
£50,000 Cancer Research UK
To fund a research project on pancreatic cancer, focusing on the cells and tissues that support the growth of tumours, at Barts Hospital, London.
£60,000 Diabetes UK
To fund a research project on Type 1 diabetes, aiming to expand knowledge of active specific immunotherapy and develop new biomarkers to track immune response at King’s College, London.
The following charities received minor grants from the Grand Charity in May 2012, totalling £20,000.
Age-Exchange Theatre Trust £2,000
Helps elderly people, especially those in care and with dementia, through reminiscence-based creative projects.
Find us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Freemasons-Grand-Charity/123352104392758
Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/TheGrandCharity
The Freemasons' Grand Charity, 60 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AZ
The Freemasons' Grand Charity is the working name of The Grand Charity, Registered Charity No. 281942
Page 2 of 7