We are excited to share details on two upcoming research projects happening at the OMF supported Melbourne ME/CFS Collaboration:
From the desk of Christopher Armstrong, PhD
Director of the Melbourne ME/CFS Collaboration
Project 1: Personalized treatment trials
We will partner with a small team of clinicians in Melbourne to recruit 200 patients for this trial.* The plan? Collaborate with clinicians to monitor the biological effects of prescribed treatments. The understanding of successful and unsuccessful treatments will be honed by analyzing biological changes in response to these treatments.
Patient reports, objective clinical measures and thousands of biomarkers will be assessed for each treatment that is tried. By analyzing and categorizing biological changes that occur in response to treatments, we can better understand why these treatments might be effective or ineffective. We can then determine the type of people for which certain treatments might be effective.
The more people we study and data we gather, the better we can predict which treatments will work best in the future.
We expect this project to take approximately 3 years from the initial recruitment. On average, each patient will undergo testing for 3+ months and will go through 2+ treatment trials, including 3 clinic visits (which will include MRI/PET scans) and the analysis of hundreds of collected biofluid samples.
Project 2: Cell-based assay platform to assess the effect of drugs on improving function
In addition to the ‘Personalized treatment trials’ project above we are interested in understanding the various ways that ME/CFS patients may have an altered ability to make energy.
We will grow cells derived from patient blood to determine if difficulties in energy production exist. If we identify energy production problems, then we will look to correct them by adding selected drugs to the cells.
We can add drugs already approved by the Therapeutic Drugs Administration (TGA) to these cells to determine their impact on energy metabolism in a far more rapid way than performing a treatment trial on the patient directly. This project will help us better understand energy metabolism anomalies in ME/CFS while also assessing the value of this workflow to improve complex patient outcomes.
What can you do to help?
At Open Medicine Foundation, we’re working urgently to transform our discoveries into tangible progress. We aim to build new treatment pathways as soon as possible, benefiting people with ME/CFS, Long COVID, and related diseases.
By donating today, you are supporting the growth and sustainability of important research projects like this that hold the promise of a better future for millions. On behalf of all of us at OMF, we thank you in advance for your contribution.
*Please note: GPs working with the OMF research team will recruit participants from their existing patient lists in Australia. If further participants are needed in the future, we will contact potential candidates through OMF’s StudyME.
OMF’s StudyME is a global research participant registry. Once you have signed up, you will receive an email when there is an opportunity to apply to a study that a researcher, such as Dr. Chris Armstrong, has asked us to help them recruit.