The Australian Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) has announced $6m in funding to Project Spark. This is a significant milestone for spinal cord injury research in Australia, as it represents the largest-ever financial commitment specifically towards cure-focussed SCI research by the Federal Government.
Our CEO Kathryn Borkovic and Community Ambassador Alex Richter were invited to speak about the funding announcement on The Project, with Alex sharing his personal story and how improvements in function as a result of the trial could be life-changing for him.
Alex also inspired an article in the Sydney Morning Herald talking about the funding and Alex’s hopes for the future.
This grant will fund two world-leading clinical trials, which together will seek to recruit up to 238 SCI participants. The first, led by Professor Jane Butler at NeuRA – Neuroscience Research Australia, will test neurostimulation’s ability to restore or improve walking in people with incomplete spinal cord injuries. The second, led by Professor David Berlowitz at The University of Melbourne, will compare two promising therapies with a combination of the two — neurostimulation and acute intermittent hypoxia (short periods of low oxygen levels) — with the aim of restoring arm, hand and respiratory function for those with quadriplegia.
SpinalCure has already invested $6M into Project Spark and we are grateful for the recognition of the importance of our cause. With additional funding from the state and federal governments, we could accelerate clinical trials and the development of these treatments.
Volunteers are needed for current and future neurostimulation trials across the country. If you, or someone you know could benefit from this research, please email [email protected].