Written by Jim Albert
A cancer drug has been shown to potentially rescue some of the damaging effects of DUX4, the gene implicated in FSH muscular dystrophy. The laboratory of Peter Zammit, PhD, Randall Division of Cell and Molecular Biophysics, King’s College London, United Kingdom, in collaboration with Robert Knight, PhD, of the Department of Craniofacial Development and Stem Cell Biology at King’s, has published the results of its research on the activity of an FDA-approved drug, sunitinib, as having potential therapeutic activity for FSH muscular dystrophy (FSHD). Continue reading
On February 13, Canadian biotech, Reserverlogix announced that facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is one of two new indications it is pursuing involving its lead drug, apabetalone (RVX-208) which inhibits bromodomain and extra-terminal (BET) epigenetic readers. It mentioned research conducted at Saint Louis University demonstrating apabetalone mediated modulation of important targets in FSHD. The FSH Society funded seminal seed-funds to Dr. Fran Sverdrup at Saint Louis University starting in 2014 to conduct pilot research to study BET proteins as therapeutic targets in FSHD. It is still early days with respect to this research. Dr. Fran Sverdrup in response to inquiries he has received following the Resverlogix press release, along with the desire to start managing patient expectations about the status of BET inhibitors as a potential therapy for FSHD and research required to validate a candidate drug as an effective treatment, has put together the following Q&A to inform our readers about the status of BET inhibitors.
What are BET inhibitors? BET inhibitors are a class of drugs with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Although no BET inhibitors are yet approved for use in the US or internationally, there are several clinical trials ongoing in the areas of cancer and cardiovascular disease. These drugs bind to and inhibit Bromodomain and Extra-Terminal motif (BET) proteins BRD2, BRD3, BRD4, and BRDT. Since BET proteins generally bind to active or “open” chromatin and turn on nearby genes, BET inhibitors act to suppress (turn off) genes that are over-expressed in disease settings. Continue reading
Johns Hopkins and the Kennedy Krieger Institute are currently recruiting for two studies! Volunteering for studies like this helps provide researchers with the information they need to provide better treatments, understand the mechanisms of the disease, and search for a cure.
For Family Members (no travel necessary!):
The Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Kennedy Krieger Institute are looking for first-degree relatives of FSHD patients ages 35 and older who do not currently show symptoms. Volunteers will be asked to give a blood draw, which can be performed at any local lab. The blood draw, the genetic test, and shipping will be covered by the study.
Interested individuals should contact Pegah Dehghan: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Study Protocol Number: NA-00019985.
For Patients: Continue reading