Royal Holloway University, is today giving money generated by its research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy to the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign. Families affected by the condition are also visiting laboratories on campus to find out from the scientists about new drug developments and see the work being carried out.
Affecting just 1 in 3000 young boys, Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a life-shortening condition, which causes muscles to weaken and waste over time leading to increasingly severe disability.
Professor George Dickson from the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway has been leading a team of scientists looking into pioneering treatments, including exon skipping, a process that looks to encourage cellular machinery to 'skip over' an exon which makes up part of the gene. It is thought that by skipping one or two exons, it may be possible to treat around 83% of the genetic errors causing Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
A pharmaceutical company is now looking to collaborate with the team to develop drugs that could be used for treating the condition and has paid a fee to secure rights to the research.
Professor George Dickson said : "We are delighted to be able to return money to the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign who originally funded this research in the early stages.
"The revenue generated shows that our work is having a real impact. Our research is directly leading to new treatments and hopefully drugs to treat this condition which can be crippling for those affected by it."