SITraN has the potential to make a major impact on the visibility of neurodegenerative diseases in the UK, bring new treatments and new hope to patients and carers in the UK and worldwide, by significantly accelerating the pace of therapeutic development using technologies such as experimental modelling of disease, gene therapy and stem cell biology, gene expression profiling and bioinformatics analysis & modelling of the biological processes.
Since its opening by her Majesty the Queen in 2010, SITraN has grown immensely and developed into a leading global facility which is at the forefront of research and expertise, pioneering new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases and bringing new hope to patients and families across the country. The £18 million centre houses state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment, including a clinical database of over 1,500 patients and a vital resource of human brain-bank material.
We have received orphan drug designation status for one drug (apomorphine-S) emerging from our drug screening programme and for the use of gene therapy in the childhood form of MND known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). These are now being taken forwards to the clinic.
We are conducting clinical trials in MND (most recently lithium and olesoxime); and have devised new ways of supporting nutrition and respiratory function in MND. We are continuing to tackle new measures to treat troublesome symptoms experienced by patients with MND including cough assist, diaphragm pacing and newly engineered neck support collars.