University of Florida Receives $2 Million for Muscular Dystrophy Research

What could you do with $2 million?  The average American could pay off their debts, buy a home, a new car or wheelchair van, and still have some money to put away in the bank.

For the University of Florida, they have a singular goal: develop a treatment for Duchenne, a deadly form of muscular dystrophy.

Medical research, as important as it is, comes at a high cost.  The equipment needed and the trial and error nature come with a serious price tag.  Not to mention the thousands of hours doctors and scientists have to put into their education so that they can become qualified to do the research in the first place.

But with a surge in funding like this, the hope is that some serious progress can be made.

 What is Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy?

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a specific form of muscular dystrophy that leads to severe muscle degeneration and premature death.  Symptoms generally appear between the ages of 2 and 3, causing weakness in the legs and pelvis area.

By 10, braces are generally required, with the majority of patients needing a wheelchair by the age of 12.  The average life expectancy of a person with DMD is around 25 with death generally caused by lung failure.  The mutation that causes DMD can be found in both sexes but rarely affects women.

Currently, there is no cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and treatments are very limited.

Where Did this Money Come From?

The $2 million that the University of Florida is receiving comes from a biotech company called Solid GT, a subsidiary of Solid Biosciences.  Solid GT is dedicated to developing treatments specifically for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

They currently fund studies and research with a number of universities across the country.

The Goal for the University of Florida

Ultimately, the goal is to develop an effective treatment for people with DMD that will slow progression, improve mobility, and ideally reverse the effects.  Currently, the University of Florida has engineered treatments that have shown improved muscle and heart function in golden retrievers.

With the funding, they will continue animal research and begin the process of gaining approval from the FDA for clinical trials on people.

Where it progresses from there remains to be seen, but currently, the future looks hopeful.  As news breaks, we’ll continue to share it here at the Rollx Vans blog.

If you could give $2 million to a specific cause, what would it be?

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