Gene therapy is currently one of the most exciting prospects for halting the progression of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Existing steroid treatments only attempt to slow the progression of the disease. However, gene therapy involves delivering a therapeutic gene into sufferers’ cells to replace the faulty gene, with the hope of stopping disease progression. There has been significant success in the use of gene therapy in the last decade to treat haemophilia, Parkinson’s disease and some cancers.
In 2014 we combined with the Duchenne Children’s Trust and Joining Jack to jointly invest $5 million into Solid Biosciences, a US-based disease-focused biotech company, for the Solid GT project, which aims to advance gene therapy as a treatment for all boys with Duchenne.
The collaboration between the three UK charities was formed as a limited company under the name of DRIL (Duchenne Research (UK) Investment Limited) which invested the money to help find an effective gene therapy treatment and enable its passage to clinical trial as quickly and safely as possible. In November 2015, Solid GT received $42.5 million of funds from leading biotech and life science investors – a resounding endorsement of the work the three charities instigated. Read about the investment here.
Click here to read more about our partnership and watch a short clip about the Solid GT programme.