Optimism surrounds start of clinical trials

Clinical trials of a new treatment to help youngsters suffering with Duchenne muscular dystrophy have officially got underway.

The research at Bristol Children’s Hospital is being financed by the charity Action Duchenne and there is a lot of excitement about the possible development of more effective forms of treatment.

Dr Anirban Majumdar, paediatric consultant, went further still and told the BBC that the drugs currently being tested could pave the way for a possible cure for the muscle-wasting condition.

“This is a very exciting time for boys with DMD, because for the first time in many, many years we now have a number of research projects that are up and running in the country,” he said.

“And we here in Bristol are able to start delivering some of this research. It’s very important because for the first time there are a number of drugs that are being tested as a potential cure and disease-modifying treatment for these boys.”

To coincide with the start of the project, two brothers living with the condition will be travelling by wheelchair from the Somerset city to their hometown of Birmingham.

Siblings Aaron and Jack Ebanks, who are both still in their teens, hope that their effort will send an unequivocal message that the illness needn’t define what people can achieve.

Diana Ribeiro, from Action Duchenne, said: “We’ve been working with Bristol for a while. We firmly believe that all patients living with Duchenne should have access to trials and clinics across the UK.”

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