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CureDuchenne Ventures Collaboration Backs Mesentech’s Effort to Address Bone Wastage in DMD

December 4, 2020

Rare Daily Staff

CureDuchenne Ventures, the research funding arm of CureDuchenne, said it made an investment in Mesentech, a regenerative medicine company with a prodrug platform that selectively delivers therapeutics to bone. 

The investment is part of a new joint funding collaboration with the Charles H. Hood Foundation that looks to advance early-stage research for pediatric conditions.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe X-linked form of muscular dystrophy that affects approximately 1 in 5000 males. DMD is caused by the absence of the dystrophin protein. Dystrophin is a large protein that provides multiple cellular functions and helps to protect skeletal and cardiac muscle against injury, inflammation and fibrosis. Individuals with Duchenne show progressive muscular degeneration and lose the ability to walk by early to mid-teens and progress to full loss of upper body function. Cardiopulmonary complications are the primary cause of death.

The investment supports Mesentech’s lead program, MES-1007, into clinical development and its evaluation in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Pediatric osteoporosis is a significant problem for DMD patients, leading to frequent fractures and premature loss of ambulation.  There are currently no approved therapies for bone wastage for individuals affected by Duchenne. There is tremendous potential for MES-1007 to be the first targeted therapy to specifically address bone wastage in these individuals.

“We are excited about the potential impact Mesentech’s bone regenerative treatment will have for the Duchenne community,” said Debra Miller, founder and CEO of CureDuchenne. “By collaborating with CHF on this investment, we can greatly increase the impact of our venture philanthropy model. Addressing bone morbidities that contribute to the loss of ambulation could significantly add quality of life to everyone affected by Duchenne.”

In addition to the funds provided, CureDuchenne will play an active role in helping the company advance their prodrug technology platform for Duchenne.  As part of the transaction, CureDuchenne’s Chief Scientific Officer, Michael Kelly, will be added to Mesentech’s scientific advisory board.

Photo: Debra Miller, Founder and CEO of CureDuchenne

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