HC Deb 17 September 2004 vol 424 c1985W
Mr. Pickthall

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding his Department has made available for research into myasthenia gravis. [188305]

Ms Rosie Winterton

[holding answer 15 September 2004]: The main agency through which the Government support medical and clinical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body, funded by the Department of Trade and Industry via the Office of Science and Technology.

The MRC is currently funding a five-year senior non-clinical fellowship at a total cost of £913,000 specifically to research disease mechanisms and ribonucleic acid-based therapies for pathogenic mutations at the neuromuscular synapse. This basic study aims to understand the underlying mechanisms behind myasthenia gravis and other similar conditions.

Over 75 per cent. of the Department's total expenditure on health research is devolved to and managed by national health service organisations. Details of individual projects, including some concerned with myasthenia gravis, can be found on the national research register on the Department's website at www.dh.gov.uk/research.