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World breakthrough for WA researchers

国际 Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) 社区 have applauded the announcement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve a drug developed in 珀斯 by WA researchers, which heralds a new frontier in the treatment of DMD.

Close to two decades of research undertaken by a group led by 史蒂夫·威尔顿, Professor of Molecular Therapy at 永利皇宫登录网址 and Director of the Western Australian Neuroscience Research Institute (WANRI)和他的同事, 苏教授弗莱彻 has culminated in the first ever treatment that is drastically improving the health and wellbeing of DMD sufferers.

“Duchenne muscular dystrophy mainly affects boys, where every muscle in their body — including their heart — deteriorates, eventually leading to loss of life,威尔顿教授说.

“直到现在, 然而, there has been no therapy that addresses the underlying genetic defect that causes DMD.”

Clinical trials of the drug, Exondys 51 , in the United States indicate that treatment reduces the severity of the disease by delaying the loss of muscle function. 男孩, who have previously been told they are incurable are still able to walk into their mid- to late-teens and potentially beyond.

“Through the trials we’ve seen the progression of these kids doing things they would not ordinarily be doing. 男孩 who would normally be in wheelchairs are instead running around playing football, 跳进汽车,” continued Professor Wilton.

“Having the drug approved by the FDA means more to Sue and I than any award we have ever received. Now for the first time our research will directly impact on the lives of young DMD sufferers worldwide.”

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Renowned neuroscientist and 2015 West Australian of the Year Professor Lyn Beazley AO applauded the research, saying it was “amongst the best medical research currently being undertaking in the world.”

“Imagine if you could develop target-specific drugs and through a series of injections silence the faulty genes – a bit like putting white-out over a typographical error,比兹利教授说.

Professor David Morrison, 永利皇宫登录网址 Deputy Vice Chancellor, 研究和创新, praised the success of the researchers and the new drug.

“永利皇宫登录网址 could not be prouder of Steve and Sue for their commitment and dedication to this ground-breaking research. It is not often researchers can take an idea from a concept through to market, but to see children benefiting from the product is extraordinary,” Professor Morrison said.

“永利皇宫登录网址’s translational research has been making a positive impact around the world for more than 40 years, and this breakthrough is further evidence of Murdoch’s strong industry links making a difference to the world.”

On the discovery, Steve Arnott, CEO of WANRI said:

"The game changing research of Professors 史蒂夫·威尔顿 and Sue Fletcher and their team is a tribute to the world class researchers that have been associated with WANRI over decades. Enhancing the lives of people through new discoveries such as these is a testament to what Western Australia can produce."

Exondys 51 works in about 1 in every 10 DMD patients, as DMD is caused by a variety of different mutations in the same gene, but Professors Wilton and Fletcher have developed other “genetic patches” for other dystrophin spelling errors causing DMD. Over time treatments should become available for the vast majority of DMD sufferers.

“This is really the thin end of the wedge for this type of therapy. Depending on the type of mutation, we can correct a variety of inherent diseases that have previously been considered untreatable,威尔顿教授说.

Exondys 51  is licensed to the US pharmaceutical company Sarepta Therapeutics and will now become available on prescription to DMD sufferers worldwide.

Professor Wilton's research into changing gene expression to treat DMD first commenced at the University of Western Australia.
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2016年9月20日

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