MND-SMART launches in St George's, London

St George's Hospital, London

Oct 2021: A new trial centre has opened to participants in London.

MND-SMART has started to welcome participants to the motor neuron disease research study from across the St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust region.


This is St George's first ever drug trial for patients with motor neuron disease. What excites me most about the trial is the innovative design and the fact that multiple drugs can be tested over time.

It is a much quicker way of helping us find a treatment for the condition, compared with traditional trial design which would test one drug at a time. My hope is that it brings us one step closer to finding a treatment for motor neuron disease."

Dr Pablo Garcia-ReitboeckConsultant Neurologist, St George's Hospital

Eoin Egan, 39, from Wandsworth, was one of the first patients to be take part in the trial at St George's. Eoin was referred to St George's neurology team in 2019 after experiencing persistent twitching in his arms and legs.

Eoin had also developed foot drop, which is a muscular weakness or paralysis that makes it difficult to lift the front part of your foot and toes. Following various tests, Dr Pablo Garcia-Reitboeck diagnosed Eoin with MND.

I didn't know much about the condition, but I knew it was quite serious when Dr Garcia-Reitboeck asked me to bring my wife in too." said Eoin. "I didn't understand how progressive it was at the time, but he was very open about it and gave me all the facts I needed."

Like many people diagnosed with MND, Eoin has researched what clinical trials are available for the condition.

The sheer quantity of trials and research that is happening right now is far more than has happened throughout history," said Eoin. "Even though there is no guarantee, I do pick up on a lot of hope in the medical research community.

I was immediately very keen to take part in the MND-SMART trial when I was invited. I understand that people need to do these trials in order to progress a solution for MND. And I've very happy and proud to be a part of trying to do that.

We extend our thanks to both Eoin Egan and Dr Pablo Garcia-Reitboeck for their time in sharing their thoughts about the trial. 

You can watch more about the trial and St Georges in this video link (external website).

This article was published on: Saturday, 30 October, 2021