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Jun 2014
Predicting MS in children
Oct 2014
Three new Incubator Grants announced
Dec 2014
2015 Funding announced
Mar 2015
Investigating new treatment options
Oct 2015
Progress in MS Research Conference
Feb 2016
2016 Round of Funding
Feb 2014
New projects being funded
Feb 2014
Breakthrough study shows great promise

Incubator Grant

The Foundation is pleased to announce the following Incubator Grant has been approved for funding:  

Novel drugs from cone snail venom for the treatment of MS

Investigator: Dr Charles Galea, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences Funding

Dr Charles Galea from Monash University is investigating novel compounds that could lead to the development of new therapies for treating MS. Effective and low-cost treatments for MS are urgently needed, especially those targeting the progressive MS symptoms. Not only would this approach reduce the overall economic burden of disease, but more importantly, it would improve quality of life for patients and their families.

Immune cells involved in the development of MS have specific channels on their surface that are essential for their function. These channels form a pore on the cell surface, which allow chemical messengers (potassium) to pass through. Dr Galea’s previous work has shown that drugs blocking these channels on immune cells were associated with reduced MS-related symptoms in an animal model of MS. Importantly, this treatment only affected immune cells involved in the development of MS and not other immune cells important for combatting bacterial or viral infections and cancers.

Venom extracted from cone snails is known to contain a large number of compounds that can block these cell channels.  Dr Galea’s project will develop methods to identify potential therapeutic compounds in cone snail venom, and test their ability to block channels on disease-causing immune cells. These compounds will provide the basis for future research aimed at identifying new therapeutic drugs with improved properties (for example, drugs that could be taken orally and have fewer side-effects compared to existing drugs).  


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