DMD research

£1.5 million new fund launched to ‘Help the Heart’

Duchenne UK joins forces with The Patrick Trust, Joining Jack and Alex’s Wish to invest in heart research


We are partnering with the three charities to launch our first grant call focusing solely on research into the heart.

The grant, called Help the Heart, is worth up to £1.5 million, and will fund ambitious projects to understand and treat the hearts of people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The Patrick Trust is committing £200,000 over three years. Funding will also come from our fantastic partner charities, Joining Jack and Alex’s Wish.

Helping the heart together

While there has been important progress in DMD research, there is still a lack of understanding of the DMD heart and how to treat it. So, on this Valentine’s Day, we’re going to change that.

Emily Reuben OBE, Co-founder and Chief Executive of Duchenne UK

“We are launching a cardiac theme open grant call today, with support from Alex’s Wish, Joining Jack, and The Patrick Trust, who have all made significant contributions to it. They are charities set up because of their love for a family member with Duchenne. Duchenne UK, Alex’s Wish, Joining Jack, and The Patrick Trust are all driven by love. That’s why we will raise £1.5 million to fund research into the Duchenne heart.”

Emma Hallam, Founder of Alex’s Wish, and mum to Alex, who is aged 17

“With a teenager living with Duchenne ourselves, we understand first-hand the priority of heart health. Time and time again, we hear of boys losing their lives far too soon to heart failure. This has to stop. We are incredibly proud of supporting this important work to help save and extend lives of everyone affected by Duchenne.”

Julian Pritchard, Trustee of The Patrick Trust

“The Patrick Trust is very happy to be joining forces with Duchenne UK, Joining Jack and Alex’s Wish on this crucial area of research. Timely access to the right cardiac treatment can be game-changing in the overall care of people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and we hope to fund research that makes a significant difference to it.”

What we are looking to fund

We are looking to fund ambitious, translational or clinical projects which address the following areas:

Two funding strands

To maximize the impact of our funding, we have divided the call for research projects into two strands:

Strand one – ‘Help the Heart’: This cardiac themed open research call will run until the end of 2024 with a broad scope, but focused on the cardiac unmet needs in DMD, using our response mode funding model. 

Strand two – A therapeutic focused call: This will launch in March for six weeks, to expression of interest applications. More details on the scope and eligibility will be published in due course.

You can find out more about the eligibility and submission process here.

Published on 14 February 2024

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