Duchenne UK funds study on promising COVID-19 anti-inflammatory drug to test its efficacy in Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Duchenne UK is pleased to announce the funding of a preclinical study of a new anti-inflammatory drug, MP1032, to assess its potential for treating Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).  

The charity will grant £100,930 to Swiss company MetrioPharm to carry out a pivotal study, which will evaluate whether MP1032 shows effect in a mouse model of DMD.  

MP1032 has been undergoing clinical trials in chronic skin disorder psoriasis and is currently in a trial for hospitalised patients with COVID-19. It has been shown to be effective at reducing inflammation, with a very good clinical safety profile.  

Inflammation can be part of the body’s natural response to infection or trauma, but in people with DMD, chronic inflammation prevents the muscles from healing themselves and leads to muscle fibrosis and degeneration. Steroid medicines are currently a standard treatment in DMD which helps to control inflammation, but they have severe side effects.  

In this mice study, the effects of MP1032 on muscle inflammation and loss of muscle function will be compared to the effects of steroids deflazacort and prednisolone. 

Duchenne UK’s Director of Research, Dr Alessandra Gaeta said: “Duchenne UK is driven to find new treatments for DMD, and in as short a time frame as possible. Much is already known about Metriopharm’s drug, MP1032, and so we are hoping that with our grant, we can quickly ascertain how likely it is that we can take this drug into clinical trials for DMD.”  

The project will last approximately one year and is expected to report results in July 2023. Positive results from this early study could provide crucial evidence for testing the drug on humans in a clinical trial.  

Ultimately, if successful, the treatment could either be used alone or in combination with steroids to reduce inflammation in DMD and preserve muscle-function for longer, with fewer side effects.   

Wolfgang Brysch, Chief Scientific Officer of MetrioPharm: “Duchenne UK is doing great work to advance treatment and better the lives of DMD patients. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated partner supporting us with expertise and funds for this preclinical trial. There is a strong rationale for trying our lead compound MP1032 in DMD and we are looking forward to the results coming next year.”  

Duchenne UK would like to thank the Family and Friends Fund, For Felix, who have fully funded this project.  

Published on 12 October 2022

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