Quest Magazine

New Guidelines on Genetic Testing in Children

As scientists learn more about what our DNA can tell us about health and disease, public interest has intensified and genetic testing has become increasingly common. In response, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) have released new guidelines to address updated technologies and new uses of genetic testing and screening in children.

Catena for FA To Be Discontinued in Canada

Idebenone (under the brand name Catena) in July 2008 received conditional market approval in Canada for the treatment of Friedreich's ataxia (FA). Now, based on additional data that fails to confirm that treatment with Catena is beneficial in FA, Santhera Pharmaceuticals has announced it will discontinue sales of the drug April 30, 2013.

Researchers Tweak Experimental Therapy for MMD1

Scientists at the biopharmaceutical company Genzyme, working with mice, say they have modified and improved an existing experimental strategy to treat type 1 myotonic muscular dystrophy (MMD1, also known as DM1).

One Simple Thing You Can Do for Rare Disease Day 2013

In the United States, a disease or disorder is defined as “rare” when it affects fewer than 200,000 Americans at any given time; in Europe, when it affects less than one in 2,000 people.

Clearly, we’re talking about very small numbers of people. But put them all together, and the numbers tell a different story. More than 6,000 rare diseases affect more than 60 million people in Europe and the U.S. alone — some 100 million people worldwide.

FDA To Webcast Its Public Hearing About ALS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will host a public hearing Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, in Silver Spring, Md., to discuss the development of drugs for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

DMD/BMD: Global Trial Planned of Experimental Drug Ataluren

Trials of the experimental muscular dystrophy drug ataluren showed that the drug was generally well-tolerated and slowed the rate of decline in walking ability, compared to the placebo group.

After consulting with regulatory agencies in Europe and the United States, biopharmaceutical company PTC Therapeutics has decided to move ahead with a global, phase 3 confirmatory study of ataluren. Trial sites will be in the U.S. and at least 10 other countries.

Pompe Disease 'Chaperone' Drug Moving Forward

The experimental drug AT2220 has shown benefit as an enhancer of enzyme replacement therapy for the metabolic muscle disorder Pompe disease (acid maltase deficiency).

The drug, a pharmacological chaperone, is designed to:

DMD: Which Steroid Regimen Is Best?

Prednisone and other drugs in the corticosteroid family have become standard treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in much of the world for almost a decade. In this disorder, they slow the decline of muscle function and prolong walking ability. However, corticosteroids have significant side effects, such as weight gain, bone loss, cataracts and behavior changes.

Strong Community Support Essential to Passage of Critical Muscular Dystrophy Legislation

Note: The MD CARE Act is a critical part of the historic effort to find cures for muscular dystrophies. Watch for articles in the coming weeks that delve further into the remarkable progress attributable to this important legislation.

SMA 'NeuroNEXT' Biomarkers Study Seeks Participants

Update (March 28, 2013): This story was updated with a link to the ClinicalTrials.gov site for this study.

Researchers conducting a study of natural history and biomarkers in infants with type 1 spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) currently are recruiting participants at 15 locations across the United States.  

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