The New Zealand Multiple Sclerosis Research Trust (NZMSRT) has been established to stimulate, co-ordinate and support New Zealand-based research into the cause, prevention, treatment, alleviation and cure of MS, and to obtain and disseminate research findings.
The NZMSRT has received a combined investment portfolio of $900,000 New Zealand Dollars from the Multiple Sclerosis Society of New Zealand and the Multiple Sclerosis Auckland Region Trust. This investment is the founding capital for the Trust.
NZMSRT Trustee Neil Woodhams said: “We are delighted to have secured this substantial initial funding. This is an important first step to securing much needed capital for the many New Zealand-based MS research projects that need our help. With the Trust now established, we will be looking at further opportunities to increase the capital base of the Trust.”
The Trust has a target of raising a minimum of $5 million New Zealand Dollars in the next 5 years and will use income generated from its investments to collaborate with partners to fund research that improves the lives of people with MS.
New Zealand statistics
According to figures from the 2006 New Zealand National MS Prevalence Study, 2,917 people have been diagnosed with MS in New Zealand with the female to male ratio of illness at 3:1 (see the Atlas of MS).
The number of people with MS has continued to grow since then due to the number of new cases being diagnosed every year.
With the rate of MS on the increase in New Zealand, there is a need to centralise the autonomous research being undertaken by numerous different organisations throughout the country.
“A single point of focus is needed for funding MS research. In the past, in many cases research for MS has been one of only a number of research strands within organisations that deal with a wide range of neurological or other health conditions,” Mr Woodhams said.
Find out more about how the MS International Federation stimulates and facilitates international collaboration on research into the understanding, treatment and cure of MS.