DMD research

Soy Products Study: Your Questions Answered

In May 2020, Duchenne UK provided an update to this project, read here.

April 2018

Duchenne UK commissioned Professor Steve Winder at The University of Sheffield to investigate a nutraceutical soy product called Haelan 951, as a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The results have recently been published and Duchenne UK released an update on the project.

Following the publication, Duchenne UK have collated some of the questions from the Duchenne community and working with Steve Winder we have answered them.

Q) What BBI product was given to the mice? Is there any reason why we couldn’t give it to our kids?A) Although a beneficial effect was seen from the diet of BBI alone, further studies are required to determine a dose-activity relationship. Additionally, unlike Haelan 951, this compound is not sold as a dietary supplement

Q) What are the next steps?
Duchenne UK is currently awaiting contracting to enable Prof. Steve Winder and his team at The University of Sheffield to carry out a follow-on study. This study will test the hypothesis that BBI has a dose-dependent effect in improving holding impulse (grip-strength). The new study, which will take place in mice, will also test over longer period of time and will look for any dystrophin changes in the muscle of these mice.

Q) Why didn’t the diet with BBI plus isoflavones show that same benefit as BBI alone? Is there something about the isoflavones that counteracts the BBI?
A) At this moment in time, we don’t exactly know. The follow-on study, which is being funded by Duchenne UK, may reveal more information into this mechanism.

Q) I recognize that funds and time are both at a premium but I believe that there would be benefit to an extended time study of soy nutraceuticals.  Would it be possible to continue to house and treat the mice with less frequent testing after the 12-week time period?  It would be very interesting to know what the long-term effects of these nutraceuticals are.
A) Before we can test the long-term effects of these nutraceuticals, our focus is to determine the best dose to be used for a 10-week period, with mice, starting at age 12 weeks. After the follow-on study the next stage would be to submit to TACT for a clinical trial, in humans.

Q)Out of curiosity I graphed the Index values (hang time x weight) values for each treatment group to see how that data would compare.


Based on this interpretation of the data it might be worthwhile to include both diets B-1 and D-1 in future study. 
A) The decision to focus on BBI only for the follow-on study is based on additional data that we have obtained with regard to the different diets, but so far has not been published. We also need to consider the size of the study as it has to be manageable, financially and logistically.

Read the published article here: http://currents.plos.org/md/article/md-18-0004r1-are-soy-products-effective-in-dmd/

Read the Duchenne UK update about this study: https://www.duchenneuk.org/news/an-update-on-soy-product-research-funded-by-duchenne-uk

If you have any further questions regarding the study email: [email protected]

Published on 4 October 2018

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