MDUK Oxford Neuromuscular Centre

Changing the landscape for clinical trials by developing a major centre in the UK.


Update March 2019: World leading neurologist to join the MDUK Oxford Neuromuscular Centre team

We are entering a new era of treatments for rare, genetic conditions like muscular dystrophy. Progress in the search for effective treatments and cures is being made in the UK and across the world.

But, as research continues to gain momentum – moving us closer to treatments – so does the demand for clinical trials.

The number of clinical trials being undertaken in the UK is increasing but inadequate capacity – such as a lack of infrastructure and expertise – means centres are struggling to meet demand.

We are aware that centres were being forced to turn down some clinical trials for muscle-wasting conditions in the UK.

Unless these capacity issues are resolved across the UK, we will see reduced opportunities for patients to be enrolled in clinical trials. In order for the UK to remain one of the key countries for clinical trials for neuromuscular conditions, additional capacity must be addressed.

We believe everyone has the right to live life to the fullest. That’s why we’ve been working with Oxford University to establish a world-leading centre aimed at bringing new treatments to patients more quickly.

The MDUK Oxford Neuromuscular Centre is boosting capacity for clinical trials. Working alongside the major centres in Newcastle and London, this third centre will be a game changer for individuals and families living with muscle-wasting conditions in the UK.

This is a very important time in the history of research and therapy into muscle conditions. MDUK has been a major contributor to the basic research for more than two decades. The funding of a new neuromuscular translational centre at Oxford ensures that they can build on this investment and deliver on effective therapies for paediatric and adult disorders. I am very excited to be part of this initiative.

Professor Dame Kay Davies, Professor of Anatomy at the University of Oxford

It’s important for MDUK and the biotechnology industry, that we’re investing in creating more centres for research and particularly for clinical trials. Industry is producing an enormous amount of great work but it’s difficult to translate this into treatments because there’s a bottle neck. Oxford was the natural place for MDUK to invest in a new centre for clinical trials.

Charles Scott, Muscular Dystrophy UK Trustee

What do we mean by a new centre?

The MDUK Oxford Neuromuscular Centre will not be a physical building but bring together researchers who work across many existing sites in Oxford.

Why Oxford?

We have always funded world-class research in Oxford – including the work of our Vice Presidents, Professor Dame Kay Davies and Professor Matthew Wood. Their work alongside that of Professor Kevin Talbot, and the rest of the clinical care team, has truly moved forward the treatment options for neuromuscular patients. What is so exciting now about this new investment is that we are able to drive this work out of the laboratory and into the clinic.

How will the Centre increase clinical trial capacity?

Our co-investment in posts and other resources at the MDUK Oxford Neuromuscular Centre will enable more potential treatments to be tested in clinical trials. The new resources include start-up seed funding for research costs for clinical lecturers as well as a number of new staff posts.

By driving research into an ambitious new era for clinical trials, this Centre’s work will have a transformational impact and provide new hope to more people with muscle-wasting conditions.

Visit the Centre’s website to get the latest updates.