Update on The Norwegian ME Association’s fundraising campaign for biomedical research
Several events during the last few years have spurred our hope for a brighter future for ME-patients.
The biggest joy for us so far was brought by the doctors Øystein Fluge and Olav Mella from Haukeland University Hospital in our very own country in 2011.
They published an exciting study in PLOS ONE which showed improvement for two of three ME-patients when treated with the drug Rituximab.
This is the first time research into medical treatment of ME has shown such remarkable results, and news about this study travelled fast around the world, through among others BBC and Der Spiegel.
This very promising study needs to be replicated in order to confirm the initial data. We are very pleased that University College London will perform a study on Rituximab and ME as soon as the necessary funds have been raised.
The doctors Fluge and Mella have already performed a second study on Rituximab and ME which is expected to be published soon.
But a large, nationwide, multi-centre, double-blind and placebo-controlled study remains. The doctors at Haukeland University Hospital and their team have been working hard with preparations for this, and are now soon ready to finally initiate a long awaited larger study on Rituximab which will include 152 ME-patients.
This is an expensive study, and although most of the finance needed is in place, funds are still lacking.
The Norwegian ME Association therefore established a fundraising campaign for biomedical research into ME. At 12th of May this year, on the international ME-awareness day, we contributed with 1.5 million NOK (approximately 150 000 GBP, 250 000 USD, 184 000 EUR) to the multi-centre study on ME and Rituximab.
A round of applause and warm thanks to everyone who have supported the campaign so far and enabled us to make this donation!
We will carry on fundraising for medical research into ME. Our plan is to continue marking the awareness day for ME, 12th of May, by donating to a research project into the disease.
The main goal for now however, is still to ensure that the multi-centre study on Rituximab and ME gets fully financed.
The Norwegian prime minister, Erna Solberg, recently announced that money have been granted for research into ME in the next national budget. This is promising news for the multi-centre study.
We will pay close attention to the national budget when it is finalised during autumn of 2014, and we do expect there to be a solid sum of research funds for ME present.
If the government finally steps up to the plate with the remaining funds for the multi-centre study, it will enable us to contribute to other biomedical research projects into ME in Norway with money from our fundraising. What could be better!
If you want to support our fundraising for biomedical research into ME you can give a donation here.
We hope to be able to share more news in English from our campaign in future with our international followers. We do appreciate each and every one of you!