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 . . .

Read More

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 . . .

Read More

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 . . .

Read More

DMD Patients Invited to Participate in a Survey About Symptoms and Daily Life

Researchers at the University of Rochester in New York seek patients diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) who are interested in helping to develop disease-specific patient-reported outcome measures for future clinical trials. This study will help to determine the most critical symptoms of children, young adults, and adult patients with DMD, and as a result, . . .

Read More

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 . . .

Read More

Do You Know ALS? Meet Dr. Cudkowicz.

Dr. Merit Cudkowicz, chief of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, where the ALS Multidisciplinary Clinic in the Healey Center for ALS is associated with MDA, is dedicated to performing academic-led clinical trials in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Her internationally renowned research has led to advanced treatments for people with living with ALS. What role has . . .

Read More

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, . . .

Read More

JAMA Neurology Publishes Article on Newborn Screening and Neuromuscular Disorders

Earlier this week, JAMA Neurology published an article co-authored by Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) staff members that addresses the role of newborn screening (NBS) in the field of neuromuscular disease. In the article, “Maximizing the Benefit of Life-Saving Treatments for Pompe Disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Through Newborn Screening: Essential Steps,” the . . .

Read More

Do You Know ALS? Meet Dr. Glass.

Dr. Johnathan Glass is the director of the Emory ALS Center, co-chair of the Northeast ALS Consortium, and professor of Neurology and Pathology at Emory University in Atlanta. Dr. Glass’ laboratory focuses on the study of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), investigating causes and potential therapies and cures. MDA has been a partner in research, providing . . .

Read More

Do You Know ALS? Read About the Latest Research.

It’s a hard fact that only three medications have been approved to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in nearly 25 years. Fortunately, research in ALS has exploded in the past decade, and new technologies have enabled the development of gene-targeting therapies such as gene replacement, gene silencing, and gene editing. MDA has always been committed . . .

Read More