11 May 2021 Research

kevin sinfield


Medical research charity LifeArc has stepped in to match-fund money raised by Leeds Rhinos’ Kevin Sinfield, offering a boost to research developing potential treatments for MND.

Around £500,000 of the money Kevin raised during his 7 in 7 Challenge, inspired by his team-mate and friend Rob Burrow, has been ring-fenced for research. LifeArc has pledged a further half million pounds, creating a £1million fund that could stimulate the search for practical treatments.

The £1million joint fund established by the MND Association and LifeArc will support research projects focused on developing new therapies or repurposing drugs already approved for use for other conditions.

Researchers are now being invited to apply for a share of the funding.

Dr Brian Dickie, Director of Research Development at the MND Association said:

“We are so grateful to LifeArc for this generous contribution and are looking forward to working with them to identify projects which have a real chance of making a difference to our community in the coming years.”

Kevin, Leeds Rhinos’ Director of Rugby, said:

“This is fantastic news and an amazing contribution from LifeArc. When we set out to complete the 7 in 7 Challenge we hoped to raise awareness and funds to support the MND community but it is so wonderful to see the inspiration it has given people and organisations, like LifeArc, so they too can support the need for more research.

“Our hope, like that of everyone affected by this brutal disease including Rob, is that this money will make a real difference and help find the breakthrough we all desperately want.”

Melanie Lee, LifeArc’s Chief Executive Officer, emphasised the focus of the new funding is on boosting research around potential treatment options based on the latest understanding of the disease.

She said:

“The ambition around stimulating the search for new treatments fits with LifeArc’s approach over the last 25 years to translate early science into health care treatments or diagnostics that can transform patients’ lives.

“Our partnership with the MND Association is the latest in a series of strategic partnerships that maximise LifeArc’s expertise in translating strong discoveries from the lab into benefitting patients with conditions with few or no effective treatment options.”

Researchers who apply for funding will be expected to conclude within three years and be target driving with set milestones and a credible delivery plan – including a clear route to reach MND patients.