One Event Can Change
When Invest in ME announced in June that we were planning a UK trial of
rituximab for ME there was a great deal of interest raised.
The rituximab trial follows the exciting work which has been, and is
being performed in Norway by the Haukeland University hospital
researchers Professor Olav Mella and Dr Oystein Fluge.
Since these excellent Norwegian researchers came to present at the
Invest in ME conferences in 2011 we have followed their progress, and
invited them back every year for our BRMEC researchers meetings and
The research work has been backed up by impressive and dedicated patient
advocacy by the Norwegian ME Forening which has raised the profile of ME
in Norway and throughout the world. Their tireless work has encouraged
IiME. The more recent success of the ME and You campaign to raise funds
for the Norwegian research has created real hope amongst patients.
At the IIMEC7 conference IiME announced our intention to work toward
establishing a clinical trial of rituximab in UK .
In updates published through July and August IiME has stated that all
that is required for the trial to proceed is the funding. In the spirit
of cooperation we have stated that support for the trial was welcome and
that IiME would acknowledge all such support.
Our supporters have risen to the occasion and valiantly supported the
IiME/UCL trial with wonderful enthusiasm. The imaginative Letís Do It
For ME campaign has continued to produce ideas to raise funds and
awareness and The MATRIX is an example of a unique method of achieving
We have had donations from around the world, ranging from £1 to £3,000.
We have had a very generous donation of £25,000 from a foundation and
this has allowed the funds raised to grow to £59,000 in a very short
space of time. We have also had fantastic moral support from a great
As such, IiME and our supporters have managed to initiate and organise
something which many thought was not possible.
IiME made it clear from the beginning that we welcomed support for the
IiME/UCL clinical trial from other organisations. Our objective is to
ensure that a clinical trial of rituximab is allowed to be performed by
the best researchers possible and to ensure that this trial makes a
valuable contribution to the collective research pool. This is why we
have been keen from the beginning, and since our inception as a charity,
to initiate collaboration with other like-minded international charities
and organisations, and build collaborations between ME researchers
We believe in achieving results by the most direct method, where
possible. For IiME the issue of making rapid progress in ME research is
important, it is personal. The need is here - the need is now.
We arranged a specific web site which has been set up to inform on all
aspects of the UK rituximab trial. This is at -
and we reiterated the current status 
have the facilities available.
have the researchers available.
have the best expertise possible available.
have the means of fundraising for this trial available (see The
) and we have a campaign to raise funds
We have emphasised that the only remaining element required was funding
We have reached this position thanks to the vision, efforts and help
from Professor Edwards, Dr Cambridge, UCL and our supporters.
Thanks to the amazing efforts of our supporters we have been able to
agree already to initiate a preliminary study on B-cells at UCL.
Professor Edwards will shortly visit Bergen Ė a trip arranged by IiME as
part of our collaborative attempts to unite researchers and build on
We can now announce that IiME have been given a pledge of £200,000 from
a foundation to supplement the amount we have raised already.
This would bring our rituximab fund to almost £260,000 Ė that is over
two-thirds of the requirement for the clinical trial to proceed.
The foundation has two conditions to this pledge
The trustees of IiME have accepted these conditions willingly.
We are thankful and grateful for this extraordinarily generous offer
from the donating foundation. It is an amazing gesture from
compassionate and caring people who want to make a difference. It allows
the hopes of many patients to become a reality Ė allows a vision to be
maintained that there is a future for ME patients and that we, patients
and families, can make a difference.
We have communicated this to the UCL team with whom we are working to
make this trial a reality.
We are now distributing this information to our supporters.
There were many who doubted that IiME and our supporters could achieve
this. Though we knew this would be a daunting task we have never doubted
it was possible.
We continue our efforts to raise the remaining funds.
To our supporters who have been with us since the beginning and everyone
who has contributed in so many ways to this trial we want you to know
this is your result. It is what you have achieved. It is what we have
We thank all those who are supporting this trial and we will continue to
provide information on the status of the trial as we progress.
We continue to welcome support. Please contact IiME directly if you or
your organisation would like to assist or contribute.
If anyone would like to ask any questions about the UK rituximab trial
then please use the Contact form on the rituximab web site .
A status is available .
With this trial we can take a huge leap forward in ME research.
are also interested in the other research projects that Invest in ME is
organising and/or funding please see our main website and free
Letís Do Research! Letís Do It For ME!
Invest in ME