The drug Eteplirsen is an antisense oligonucleotide that is designed to enable the production of a functional truncated dystrophin protein to alleviate some of the symptoms of DMD.
DMD is an X-linked rare degenerative neuromuscular disorder that causes severe progressive muscle loss and premature death. It is one of the most common fatal genetic disorders, affecting approximately one in every 3,500 boys born worldwide. A devastating and incurable muscle-wasting disease, DMD is associated with specific errors in the gene that codes for dystrophin, a protein that plays a key structural role in muscle fibre function. The condition is universally fatal, and death usually occurs before the age of 30.
The findings from the original study were reported in the Lancet in 2011. The first patient to receive the systemic injection of this novel compound was performed in the BRC-supported Somers Clinical Research Facility at GOSH.