Research update - May 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has brought new challenges to our ongoing research programme, as we work with experts worldwide to bring more, better and less toxic treatment to children in the UK and beyond. 

Many members of the neuroblastoma clinical research community have been required to urgently divert their attention elsewhere because of COVID-19, and so we made the decision to delay our upcoming grant deadlines by 10-12 weeks. The applications to these awards are complicated and ambitious projects, being developed by international teams of researchers, and we want to do all we can to make sure proposals we receive are of the highest possible quality. These updated deadlines will be kept under review but we, together with our collaborative funding partners, remain determined to deliver both grant awards by the end of the year. 

Two recent grant awards to researchers in UK-based universities have also been postponed as universities have been temporarily closed. An announcement on these grants will be made as soon as that work can begin, we are working closely with the research teams to ensure that any delays are minimal. In addition, some of the clinical trials that we currently fund – BEACON Immuno, MiNivAn, and Lorlatinib may also be impacted, with recruitment paused in some cases. 

The Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), of which we are a member, is highlighting the huge impact on medical research to the government, including the significant risk to future research funding as the income for charities is severely affected. We are working closely with AMRC to ensure that the impact on children with neuroblastoma is highlighted at the highest level.