Funding boost for muscular dystrophy research

A facility which carries out research into a rare muscle-wasting disease has received a £4.6million cash boost.

The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre, based at Newcastle University, has been awarded the grant from the European Commission.

The money will be pumped into a clinical trial of vamorolone, a drug which could offer fresh hope to young boys living with the currently incurable condition.

Trials will take place as part of the VISION-DMD project, which involves 10 countries around Europe.

Kate Bushby, a professor of neuromuscular genetics and a consultant geneticist at Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundations Trust, welcomed the funding announcement.

“This project has been designed to ensure a timely and cost-effective drug development for DMD, which is highly demanded by patients, families and regulatory authorities,” she said.

“It’s great that the John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre has received this and can, once again, help lead the way in ground-breaking research to improve the lives of boys with DMD.”

Rebecca Daniel’s son Ryan Bennett was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy more than a year ago and she is among the parents to welcome the project.

“It’s great that millions of pounds have been given to help improve treatment for those with Duchenne muscular dystrophy,” she said.

“This drug development programme offers hope that significant advancements will be made in the years to come to help patients with the condition.

“We keep our fingers crossed that research developments in the future will help Ryan and others like him live as good a life as possible.”

At EnViva Paediatric Care, our experienced staff can provide nurse-managed homecare for babies, children and young people with complex conditions including muscular dystrophy. Please note that we also support adults living with the condition. For more information about the services we provide, please contact us.