Driving research of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis / Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME / CFS),
Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS), Fibromyalgia and Long COVID.

Looking Back and Looking Forward: OMFCA’s 2023 Year in Review!

2023 Year in Review: hands of diverse skin tones connecting pieces of a wooden jigsaw puzzle.

As 2024 begins, we at Open Medicine Foundation Canada are thrilled to review a few highlights and the milestones you made possible in 2023. It was a year filled with incredible achievements, groundbreaking research, and community empowerment. 

Thanks to your unwavering support, we’ve reached new heights in our quest to understand and treat ME/CFS, Long COVID and related diseases. We’d like to start off with some exciting news! We’ve raised over $50 million since 2012! We are incredibly
grateful for your support. Your generosity has played a critical role in numerous advancements this year. Highlights include:

 

Fundraising Milestones:

  • We raised more than $8.2M in 2023.Thank you to the OMFCA community for making this year another successful year for
    accelerating research and medical education.  
  • Linda Tannenbaum, CEO of Open Medicine Foundation, dedicated her efforts to curing ME/CFS and Long COVID by participating in the 2023 Surfers Point Marathon in California, successfully raising over $50,000. This fundraising supported OMF’s Research Director’s meeting in Los Angeles and lunches for the purpose of encouraging networking at the National Institutes of Health Advancing ME/CFS Research: Identifying Targets for Intervention and Learning from Long COVID
    conference in Bethesda in Dec 2023.
  • Open Medicine Foundation Australia Limited (OMFAL) received a $500,000 gift to fund the initial phase of Dr. Chris Armstrong’s ground-breaking personalized treatment program
  • The Patient-Led Research Fund (PLRF), a project of the Patient-Led Research Collaborative and funded by Balvi Filantropic Fund, provided three grants to OMF totaling $2.251M to study Long COVID through our collaborative research centers. Additionally, OMF facilitated the funding and grant administration of other PLRF/Balvi-funded grants, in the amount of $2.254M. 

 

Research Updates:

  • First Major Clinical Trial Launch: The Life Improvement Trial (LIFT) is a randomized, double-blind placebo trial investigating two particular drugs: Pyridostigmine (commonly known as Mestinon) and low-dose naltrexone (LDN) separately and in combination. This will be our first of many funded trials over the next few years. Learn more about the LIFT! 

The image displays the headshots of Jonas Bergquist and David Systrom alongside the text “The LIFT.”

  • Increased Research Participation: We launched OMF’s StudyME, a global participant registry to connect individuals who want to participate in research with the researchers who are looking for participants. Over 7,300 participants have signed up already from around the world! We have already helped researchers at Stanford, Harvard, and Universities in Australia recruit participants! Learn more and sign up!
  • New study launched to investigate sleep disturbances in ME/CFS: Learn more!  
  • Our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) Grows: Renowned ME/CFS expert clinician, Lucinda Bateman, MD, joined OMF’s Scientific Advisory Board. Learn more about Dr. Bateman here

 

New from OMF funded research: 

  • Ron Davis, PhD, & colleagues: “Catalytic Antibodies May Contribute to Demyelination in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” Read it here
  • Jonas Bergquist, MD, PhD, & colleagues: “Temporal pathway analysis of cerebrospinal fluid proteome in herpes simplex encephalitis.” Read it here
  • David Systrom, MD, & colleagues: “Exercise Pathophysiology in Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2: More in Common Than Not?” Read it here.
  • Alain Moreau, PhD, & colleagues: “Circulating microRNA expression signatures accurately discriminate myalgic encephalomyelitis from fibromyalgia and comorbid conditions.” Read it here

    *Check out an overview of the publications that have resulted from research funded by Open Medicine Foundation since 2012: https://www.omfcanada.ngo/publication-insights/.

 

Medical Education Resource Center (MERC) Updates:

  • MERC successfully launched a second Long COVID & Post-Viral Syndromes ECHO series in collaboration with the University of Utah Health, reaching providers in multiple states and countries.
  • MERC educated medical students, residents, fellows, and practicing clinicians through the MEAction-sponsored Grand Rounds at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
  • Collaborations with Medscape, VuMedi, and other outlets have allowed us to embed lectures and provide enduring CME, reaching clinicians at the source of where they seek education.
  • MERC is supporting and guiding NIH initiatives such as RECOVER and the Research Roadmap.
  • A new video series was released to educate healthcare professionals on Post Exertional Malaise. Watch now! 

 

As we look ahead, we are filled with hope and determination. With your continued support, we are poised to launch more clinical trials and deepen our research and medical education endeavors. Together, we are forging a path to a better future for those affected by ME/CFS, Long COVID, and related diseases.

 

Stay tuned for more updates, and thank you for being an essential part of our journey.

 

With hope for a year full of progress,
Team OMFCA