•The Muscular Dystrophy Association has awarded 13 grants totaling $3.5 million to researchers working on treatments for neuromuscular diseases such as MD and ALS, studies that identify the diseases’ causes, or research on the disorders’ underlying mechanisms.
This brings the total amount of the grants the organization has made this year to $13.7 million.
“We have seen unprecedented progress in neuromuscular disease research in the past few years,” Grace Pavlath, the association’s senior vice president and scientific director, said in a press release. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved six treatments for these diseases, including four the association helped fund.
“With the addition of this latest round of grants, we’ve begun funding some incredibly exciting research projects that we hope will keep the momentum going and result in more treatment options for our community,” Pavlath added.
The new grants will help:
• scientists at the Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh identify treatments for ALS.
• researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston identify more genes associated with neuromuscular diseases.
• scientists at the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Reno test a potential therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
• researchers at the Boston Children’s Hospital identify drug targets for facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy.
• a team from the University of California, Davis, identify an optimal dose of a drug to treat mitochondrial disease.
• University of Michigan Medical School researchers test a potential therapy for spinal-bulbar muscular atrophy.
The funding comes from association supporters who make donations or arrange fund-raisers.
The organization “is grateful for the dedication and commitment of our partners and donors, whose generous support enables us to continue to lead the fight to find the solutions that will transform and save lives,” Pavlath said. “Together we will continue to build momentum on the pipeline of promise in research that is yielding more new drug approvals than ever before.”
Some of the association’s supporters include the International Association of Fire Fighters, CITGO Petroleum Corporation, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Acosta, Albertsons Companies, Casey’s General Stores, Circle K, The Kroger Company, the National Association of Letter Carriers and Dutch Bros. Coffee.
The association has funded more than $1 billion in neuromuscular disease research since 1950.
The FDA has approved four drugs for these disorders in just the past two years, illustrating the importance of the association’s research funding program.
The association is now funding more than 150 research projects worldwide totaling $45.6 million.
Neuromuscular diseases diminish patients’ ability to walk, run, talk, eat and sometimes breathe on their own.