Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Is Closer to a Treatment With New Results From
Sarepta Therapeutics; Cure Duchenne Early Supporter of Study
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- October 03, 2012
CureDuchenne, a nonprofit that raises awareness and funds research to find a
cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, is pleased by today’s announcement by
Sarepta Therapeutics (formerly AVI BioPharma) that its exon-skipping compound,
eteplirsen, achieved significant clinical benefit after 48 weeks of treatment
in a Phase IIb study in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. CureDuchenne, along with
Children National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and the Foundation to
Eradicate Duchenne, provided funding in 2010 for this research to progress
into human clinical trials.
The eteplirsen drug helped increase the production of dystrophin, which is
lacking due to a defect on the dystrophin gene that causes Duchenne, and
slowed the progression of the disease, as measured by the 6-minute walk test.
This is a milestone for the company and patients alike. The result will pave
the way for an end of phase II meeting between the company and the FDA to
discuss and agree to the plan for a phase III registration trial. Sarepta will
scale up the manufacturing to accommodate a larger trial.
“This is an important day for Duchenne,” said Chris Garabedian, CEO of Sarepta
Therapeutics. “We are grateful to CureDuchenne, and other organizations, for
their support and funding that allowed us to proceed this far in the clinical
trial process and move a step closer to finding a treatment for Duchenne.”
“We have personally seen the positive impact this drug has had on our son,”
said Jenn McNary who has two sons with Duchenne. Ten-year-old Max is one of
the boys enrolled in the Sarepta trial but his 13-year-old brother Austin was
not eligible for the trial. “Max has shown significant improvement and is
stronger while Austin is getting weaker. We’re hoping these results will allow
Sarepta to get approval quicker so other Duchenne boys can benefit from this
treatment that helps slow the progression of the disease.”
As the most common and lethal form of muscular dystrophy, Duchenne impacts 1
in 3,500 boys. Boys with Duchenne are usually diagnosed before the age of 5,
in a wheelchair by age 12 and most don’t survive their mid-20s.
“This is very encouraging news for the Duchenne community that a treatment is
within our reach,” said Debra Miller, founder and CEO of
CureDuchenne.“CureDuchenne is committed to continuing to fund research, like
we did for the Sarepta trial, until a cure is found that helps all Duchenne
boys. We are hopeful, but also must remain cautious until treatments are
CureDuchenne is a national nonprofit organization located in Newport Beach,
Calif., dedicated to finding a cure for Duchenne, the most common and most
lethal form of muscular dystrophy. As the leading genetic killer of young
boys, Duchenne affects more than 300,000 boys worldwide.
CureDuchenne has garnered international attention for its efforts to raise
funds and awareness for Duchenne. With the help of CureDuchenne’s
distinguished international panel of Scientific Advisors, funds raised by
CureDuchenne support the most promising research aimed at treating and curing
Duchenne. To date, seven CureDuchenne research projects have made their way
into human clinical trials – a unique accomplishment as few health-related
nonprofits have been successful in being a catalyst for human clinical trials.
Karen Harley, 949-872-2552
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