Australian researchers have developed a groundbreaking drug which holds hope of treating the debilitating and fatal motor neurone disease.
The result of 15 years of work has been tested on 32 patients in Melbourne and Sydney and showed it could slow the progression of the disease, rather than just treat the symptoms.
“It is a huge breakthrough,” Professor Ashley Bush, chief scientific officer of collaborative medicinal development and director of the Melbourne Dementia Research Centre, said on Friday.
“This is the first human evidence for a disease-modifying drug for motor neurone disease,” he said.
“We look forward to confirming the positive results in a larger study soon.”
After six months, the copper-delivery drug CuATSM showed the progression of the disease in patients slowed by about 70 per cent.
Participants had improved lung function and cognition and a reduction in the decline of their motor disability.
Motor neurone disease is a progressive, fatal neurodegenerative disease with the death of brain cells which control muscle movements, eventually causing paralysis.