MDA Awards Venture Philanthropy Funding to Rachelle Crosbie to Develop a Novel Membrane-Stabilizing Drug for DMD

MDA has awarded MDA Venture Philanthropy (MVP) funding totaling $389,000 over two years to Rachelle H. Crosbie, PhD, professor and chair of Integrative Biology and Physiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. The award will support the development of a small molecule drug that increases expression of sarcospan, a protein that may help to . . .

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2019 Clinical & Scientific Conference Highlight: What’s New in Neuromuscular Diseases?

At the 2019 MDA Clinical & Scientific Conference, one scientific session of interest centered on what’s new in neuromuscular diseases (NMDs). In this session, presenting scientists discussed progress in therapy development and clinical trials for a range of NMDs, including Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD), congenital muscular dystrophy (CMD), congenital myasthenic syndromes (CMS), myotonic dystrophy (DM), . . .

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The Christopher Project Report to the Myotonic Dystrophy Community is Now Available

The results of the Christopher Project have been published in a comprehensive, 80-page report. The creation of “The Christopher Project Report to the Myotonic Dystrophy Community” was supported by several organizations, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), and is available for download on MDA’s website. (Printed copies are also available upon request.) What is the . . .

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Simply Stated: What is Myasthenia Gravis?

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is an autoimmune disease, which is a disease that occurs when the immune system goes awry and produces antibodies that attack the body’s own tissues. Normally, antibodies are created to rid the body of pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, and foreign substances. In MG, antibodies attack the connection between nerve and muscle . . .

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Q&A With SSSI-MDA Fellow and Researcher Adam Bittel

Adam Bittel, PT, DPT, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC, was awarded the 2019 SSSI-MDA Fellowship Award. The award, co-sponsored by Strength, Science & Stories of Inspiration (SSSI) and MDA, will provide a total of $40,000 over two years to support Dr. Bittel’s work investigating the cellular mechanisms underlying the effects . . .

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Researcher with FSHD Awarded MDA Funding to Discover New Therapies for the Disease

Like many pre-medical students, Justin Cohen discovered along the way that what he really liked was research. However, unlike others who exchange the stethoscope for a microscope, Justin had a strikingly different motivating factor — he has been living with the disease he studies, facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), for almost as long as he can . . .

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MDA Awards Venture Philanthropy Funding to Locana to Develop Novel Treatment for DM

Today, MDA and Locana, a leading RNA-targeting gene therapy company, announced the award of an MDA Venture Philanthropy (MVP) grant totaling $550,000 to advance Locana’s development program for myotonic dystrophy (DM), the most common form of adult-onset muscular dystrophy. MVP is the MDA’s drug development program that is exclusively focused on funding the discovery and . . .

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FDA Approves PTC Therapeutics’ Emflaza for the Treatment of DMD in Patients Between 2 and 5 Years Old

On June 7, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Emflaza (deflazacort) to expand its labeling to include patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) who are between 2 and 5 years old. Emflaza was approved by the FDA in February 2017 for the treatment of DMD in patients 5 years and older, making it the first drug approved . . .

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FDA Approves AveXis’ Zolgensma for Treatment of Spinal Muscular Atrophy in Pediatric Patients

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zolgensma (onasemnogene abeparvovac-xioi), the first gene therapy for a neuromuscular disease. Zolgensma is a one-time intravenous (into the vein) infusion for the treatment of pediatric patients less than 2 years of age with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) with bi-allelic mutations in the survival motor neuron 1 (SMN1) gene, . . .

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