#MDA2021 – MDA Virtual Conference to Feature Latest in Clinical Care, Research

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by Steve Bryson PhD |

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Next week’s 2021 MDA Virtual Clinical and Scientific Conference is expected to attract more than 1,200 clinicians and researchers from across the U.S. with expertise in neuromuscular conditions.

Hosted by the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), the conference runs March 15 to 18, with more than 100 speakers scheduled to present the latest healthcare and research findings.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy will be one of the more than 40 diseases covered at the conference, along with spinal muscular atrophy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Abstracts can be found on the conference website. Oral presentations of select abstracts will take place on the final day, March 18. For the agenda, click here

“MDA is the one organization that can bring together leading scientists from academia and industry, as well as clinicians who are working in the field, to learn the latest developments that will improve the lives of members of the neuromuscular community,” Donald S. Wood, PhD, MDA’s president and CEO, said in a press release.

“Our conference is the most comprehensive neuromuscular disease meeting in the U.S., attended by the most influential researchers, health care professionals, and decision-makers,” he added.

Wood will give the keynote address about the potential of gene therapy to treat neuromuscular conditions and the MDA’s role in supporting research. Multiple experts will present data at 29 scientific and clinical sessions, and daily poster sessions will highlight the latest basic, clinical, and translational research. 

“This is a time of great promise and rapid advances in neuromuscular research and treatment, and our conference has become a prime destination for academic researchers, pharmaceutical and biotech companies to report on their latest clinical trial findings,” said Sharon Hesterlee, PhD, executive vice president and chief research officer at the MDA. “The MDA conference is also an important venue for sharing insights from preclinical studies.”

Virtual networking sessions and exhibits, live-broadcast sessions, and on-demand videos will be included in the conference, along with 10 translational and preclinical research sessions, and 10 clinical sessions that provide continuing medical education credits — activities that serve to maintain or enhance the knowledge, skills, and practice of physicians.

Conference highlights include sessions on therapeutic factors for genetically dominant neuromuscular conditions, new biomarkers in neuromuscular disease research, ethical considerations in clinical trials of gene therapies, and real-world evidence and MOVR — a national patient data hub for neuromuscular conditions that collects clinical and genetic diagnostic information from people seen at MDA Care Centers.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the conference will also focus on the impact of COVID-19 on neuromuscular disease care and clinical trials.