Maria Doitsidou and David Breen from the University of Edinburgh have just learned that their application for funding from the Reta Lila Weston Trust has been successful. Their grant will provide £750,000 to allow Maria (and colleagues/collaborators) to build on her findings of the disease-modifying potential of a probiotic bacterium (Bacillus subtilis) in her nematode worm (C. elegans) and mouse models of Parkinson’s. In parallel they will also proceed with a 2-site randomised clinical trial in Edinburgh (run by David Breen) and in Stavanger, Norway.
Maria and David spoke about their plans for this work at an online ERIG meeting in May 2020:
In the discussion following their presentations, ERIG members expressed their enthusiasm for a local clinical trial, raised some queries and suggested some modifications to the plan. ERIG then submitted a letter of support to accompany their application. Commenting on the involvement of local People affected by Parkinson’s in the design of the clinical trial, the expert reviewer panel for the Reta Lila Weston Trust said: “The consultation with patients was a strength and the applicants have a clear mandate from their stakeholders to move forward into a trial.”
ERIG looks forward to being increasingly involved in this type of engagement work with our local scientists and clinicians.