Duchenne UK is pleased to announce the launch of the DMD Hub. The Hub is a network of trial sites - and staff - trained and funded to carry out clinical trials for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). The Hub has been conceived and developed in collaboration with leading neuromuscular clinicians.

Clinical research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) research is at an unprecedented stage, in terms of the number of possible therapeutic approaches coming to trials. 

Pharmaceutical companies can be reluctant to go to clinical trial sites with no previous experience of running DMD trials. This has led to bottlenecks at existing experienced sites which are reaching capacity.

The Hub’s aim, is to make more clinical sites trial ready by providing training, mentoring and resources to help them achieve the requirements set by industry to run clinical trials.

The DMD Hub works in conjunction with staff and facilities available at sites, providing expert DMD advice, guidance, and training thereby establishing a network of UK sites enabled to take on trials, relieving pressure on experienced sites.

Today, to mark the launch of the DMD Hub, we are holding a meeting at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital with clinicians from hospitals around the UK, patient groups, industryand representatives from National Institute of Health Research. The meeting will provide an update on the DMD Hub’s progress .

Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is the first hospital to become a DMD Hub site. Leeds Children’s Hospital is also a DMD Hub site. Both of these sites will be running the Tamoxifen trial, partly funded by Duchenne UK, which is due to start early next year.

Duchenne UK and Emma Heslop, the DMD HUB manager, have been visiting other potential DMD Hub sites which include Glasgow Children’s Hospital, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, Heartlands Hospital, Oswestry Hospital and Evelina London Children's Hospital.

The DMD Hub is exploring innovative funding practices whereby a tapered funding model is used. This means that Duchenne UK will supply the initial funding for the DMD Hub site with the understanding that the institution will then provide future funding to continue developing as a DMD Hub site.

The launch of the DMD Hub follows the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy’, published by the government last month. This strategy calls for further improvements in UK clinical trial capabilities, with a view to supporting a 50% increase in clinical trials over the next five years. It also highlighted the need for greater collaboration between industry and the NHS.

Duchenne UK’s mission for the DMD Hub is to ensure that all patients with DMD, including children and adults, have the opportunity to access clinical research opportunities.