Thursday, 26 February 2015

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy - Summit

Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy - Summit: "Our utrophin modulation programme is developing oral, small molecule drugs that increase the production of a protein call utrophin.  Utrophin is a naturally occurring protein that is functionally and structurally similar to dystrophin.  Utrophin is produced during the early stages of muscle fibre development but is switched-off in maturing muscle fibres, at which point dystrophin is produced to perform the same functional role.  When a muscle fibre is damaged, utrophin is also produced during the early stages of the repair mechanism.

Our utrophin modulation approach aims to use small molecule drugs to maintain the production of utrophin to compensate for the absence of dystrophin in DMD patients and so protect healthy muscle function.  A significant advantage of utrophin modulation is that it is independent of the underlying genetic fault and therefore has the potential to treat 100% of DMD patients.  We also believe it could be complementary to other DMD treatment approaches.

The concept of utilising utrophin as a treatment for DMD was developed by our co-founder and scientific advisor Professor Kay Davies at the University of Oxford."

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