No Longer a Slogan - Now a Reality
Investment in Research
The long awaited announcement has come today from Quadram Institute Bioscience in Norwich Research Park  of the new investment in the new Microbiota Replacement Therapy (MRT) - also called Faecal Microbiota Transplant (FMT) - facility that is being set up for the UK clinical trial at the Quadram and which is being funded by Invest in ME Research .
Now the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has awarded a grant of £500,000 to build and equip a new facility at the Quadram Institute that meets Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) classes MRT as a medicine which means it needs to be produced in a GMP-standard facility.
This new funding demonstrates and confirms not just the acknowledgement of the soundness of developing the Centre of Excellence for ME
in one of Europe's biggest and best-equipped research park.
It also will enable more awareness and attention to be given to ME, with more interest in researching the disease, more opportunities for new funding and greater removal of the stigma around ME in research and clinical circles that has been allowed to generated and perpetuated by some organisations and from the effects of false research in the past.
UK Clinical Trial
COVID has had an impact on being able to carry out any recommendations suggested by the MHRA in updating the facility (regarding building work) which is being set up specifically for this research into ME and for this clinical trial.
This new investment in the facilities enables the RESTORE-ME clinical trial to restart once the construction work and MRT facility have been completed and validated later this year.
The Trial Team have been working on preparing the Trial Documents (protocol, patient facing documentation, quality management documents etc) and Ethics/MHRA submission and are awaiting for further information from parties involved in order to progress the submission.
Invest - in ME Research
The name of the charity is Invest in ME Research. For a long time this was as much a statement, a call to action, as it was an identifier of a charity determined to bring forth change to the stale and establishment-biased environment that had been permitted to exist for so many years.
Yet, from the time that we began bringing in a nucleus of international researchers together in our conferences and later research colloquium – and when we initiated the proposal for a UK/European Centre of Excellence for ME – this has become more and more a fact and a strategy.
Following the funding of 5 PhDs, European research and clinical meetings and networks, eleven international research collquiuia and what would have been fifteen public conferences had it not been for the pandemic, - and the only clinical trial for ME in the UK – one of the few in the world – we are in the phase where others are accepting the soundness of this strategy.
This new funding frees off more funds from IiMER supporters that will now allow us to work with Quadram and the European ME Research Group (EMERG) on the next steps for research.
IiMER will commit to funding new projects in the coming months