Five Questions with SMA Researcher Stephen Meriney

Stephen Meriney, PhD, professor of Neuroscience and Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $302,587 over three years to develop a combinatorial drug approach to discover possible therapeutics for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). His work is focused on testing a novel calcium channel agonist (an agonist produces the same . . .

Read More

Biogen Announces Positive Long-Term Results from Phase 2 Study of Spinraza to Treat SMA in Pre-Symptomatic Infants

Biogen announced positive long-term results from its ongoing phase 2 (NURTURE) clinical trial evaluating Spinraza (nusinersen) for treating spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) at the Cure SMA Annual Conference held June 28 through July 1 this year. New data from the NURTURE study demonstrated that after almost four years, infants who were treated with Spinraza before developing symptoms of SMA . . .

Read More

The ALS Association, ALS Finding A Cure, and MDA Co-Fund Clinical Trial Grant to Study Restoring Immune System Function to Treat ALS

The ALS Association, ALS Finding a Cure (ALSFAC), and MDA announced they have jointly awarded a clinical trial grant totaling more than $2.5 million over two-and-a-half years to leading investigators at the Houston Methodist Neurological Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital. The principal investigator is Stanley Appel, MD, co-director of Houston Methodist Neurological Institute, chair of . . .

Read More

Scholar Rock Announces Positive Results from Phase 1 Study of SRK-015 to Treat SMA

Scholar Rock Holding Corporation announced positive results from its phase 1 clinical trial evaluating SRK-015, a therapy for treating spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), at the Cure SMA Annual Conference held June 28 through July 1 this year. Consistent with previously announced interim findings in February, the final results showed positive safety, pharmacodynamic, and pharmacokinetic data in healthy volunteers, supporting . . .

Read More

Simply Stated: Is Muscular Dystrophy Genetic?

The muscular dystrophies are a group of neuromuscular diseases that cause weakness and degeneration of the skeletal (voluntary) muscles. Muscular dystrophies are generally considered genetic diseases, or diseases that arise from genetic mutations, which can be either inherited or spontaneous. Some muscular dystrophies have been found to have a genetic component, which means a genetic . . .

Read More

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 $389,463 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 . . .

Read More

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), . . .

Read More

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 . . .

Read More

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 . . .

Read More