Yesterday, the FSH Society convened a landmark meeting at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center, a stone’s throw from the headquarters of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Several FDA regulators attended in addition to researchers from seven biopharmaceutical companies, academic scientists who are leading the effort to prepare the field for clinical trials, and representatives of patient advocacy organizations including the MDA, Friends of FSH, and Chris Carrino Foundation. The workshop was organized by John Porter, PhD, and funded by a generous grant from the Geraldi Norton Foundation.
The purpose of the workshop was to introduce the FDA to facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy–the impact of the disease on individuals, why scientists think FSHD is treatable, and the progress that has been made toward clinical trials. The workshop sought advice from the FDA on how to develop methods to measure treatment effects to meet the standards for FDA approval. The FSH Society will use the discussion to define the scope of its Therapeutic Accelerator Project, which will be supported through a private-public partnership of stakeholder companies and philanthropy.
Opening the workshop was Lexi Pappas, who shared her personal story of living with FSHD as well as the dreams of so many others with FSHD. Her eloquent, moving testimonial reminded us why we were gathered there. Watch: