TUCSON, Ariz., April 21, 2013 — The Muscular Dystrophy Association announced today that Catabasis Pharmaceuticals will be a “silver” sponsor of the 2013 MDA Scientific Conference, “Therapy Development for Neuromuscular Diseases: Translating Hope into Promise,” in Washington, D.C., April 21-24.
Catabasis Pharmaceuticals is testing two experimental treatments — CAT-1004 and CAT-1041 — to counter damaging muscle inflammation in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) without causing the potentially serious side effects of corticosteroids. MDA has provided funding for the Cambridge, Mass., biopharmaceutical company through MDA Venture Philanthropy (MVP), the drug development arm of MDA’s translational research program. DMD affects one out of every 3,500 boys causing progressive degeneration in voluntary and cardiac muscles, and is one of the more than 40 neuromuscular diseases that MDA covers.
“By bringing together hundreds of diverse professionals working in neuromuscular disease research, this conference encourages innovation and progress,” said Catabasis co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer Michael Jirousek. “MDA fulfills a significant role in advancing neuromuscular disease research by sponsoring conferences such as this one.”
About 500 scientists, many of whom are at the vanguard of neuromuscular disease research, will be attending the conference and presenting their newest findings about Duchenne muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy, ALS and additional neuromuscular diseases. Fueled by rapidly evolving biotechnology practices, an unprecedented number of new potential disease therapies have been developed.
"Progress has been so rapid in biotech research over the last five years that we now have many promising new paths for treatment development,” said MDA Vice President of Research Jane Larkindale. "Our conference will cover a broad range of innovative projects from early-stage therapeutic targets to clinical trial results. We welcome and appreciate support for the conference from Catabasis. MDA has been funding muscle disease research for more than 60 years, and the progress that Catabasis is making brings new hope to MDA families.”
In addition to the academic scientists who will be attending the meeting, MDA is bringing together professionals from government, industry and the nonprofit sector to join the discussion about therapy development for neuromuscular disorders.
Conference co-chairs are: C. Frank Bennett, senior vice president for research at Isis Pharmaceuticals; and Eric Hoffman, director of the Research Center for Genetic Medicine at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
Catabasis is a clinical-stage company dedicated to the discovery and development of innovative, effective and safe medicines to treat inflammatory and metabolic diseases. The company’s drug development programs are rooted in the principles of pathway pharmacology, the treatment of diseases by simultaneously modulating more than one target in a disease pathway. Using its proprietary SMART Linker technology, the company conjugates two drugs that act on different components of a disease pathway to produce new chemical entities with significantly enhanced efficacy, and an improved safety and tolerability profile. The company has assembled a team of passionate and experienced scientists who are committed to improving the lives of patients. The company was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. Please visit catabasis.com for more information.
MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.
In addition to funding more than 250 research projects worldwide, MDA maintains a national network of 200 medical clinics; facilitates hundreds of support groups for families affected by neuromuscular diseases; and provides local summer camp opportunities for thousands of youngsters living with progressive muscle diseases.