The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the drug Radicava (edaravone) to treat ALS/MND in the USA. Shown to slow progression in some people, it is the first drug to be approved for ALS in over 20 years (it is anticipated Radicava will be available in the U.S. by August 2017). In 2015, edaravone was approved for use as an ALS treatment in Japan (as Radicut) and South Korea. Radicava is administered through an intravenous infusion and not yet approved for use in Australia under our country's regulatory approval process for drugs. In this report we provide information about edaravone and the Australian context.

Today we really got immersed into Inca heritage, starting with a visit to Awana Kanchu, ‘the weaving place’. Not only did we learn about the importance of alpacas and llamas to Peruvian people historically and today, but we also got to meet and feed them! Some laughs were certainly had! We were given a demonstration as to how the the wool is dyed, then moved on to some examples of traditional vegetable based foods... Over 200 types of potato in Peru?! We didn’t see that one coming!

Researchers from King’s College London. Dr Bradley Smith and colleagues screened genetic data of an unusually high number of people of European origin finding that specific mutations in the ANXA11 gene are associated with around 1% of all familial ALS/MND and 1.7% of all sporadic ALS/MND cases. While this may seem like a small percentage, it is another great finding that can tell us more about the mechanisms of MND.

After a fairly early rise for breakfast and transit back to the airport to make the last of our flights into Cusco, we could do nothing but laugh when we got to the airport to find that our flight had just been delayed some two and a half hours! Many hours later, finally arriving at Cusco Airport, we were quite dazzled by the surrounding mountains; so large and yet seemingly so close! Transferred to our hotel with our local guide, Jaime, he managed to make seven very weary travellers laugh and smile all the drive long!

Today was a very big day of travel - almost 24 hours after departing Australia’s biggest city, we finally landed in Lima, Peru’s biggest city, home to almost 10 million people, or one third of the country’s entire population! Transferred to our hotel, we joined for a quick supper together before going on a bit of a group stroll around the streets. After three flights, one of them around 11 hours long, we were all itching for a bit of exercise!

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