New drug development
Clinical trial of ReveraGen drug
In July 2014 the DRF announced its partnership with three other non-profit organisations to provide Phase 1 clinical trial funding for the first-in-human studies of VBP15, the lead compound of ReveraGen BioPharma for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The Muscular Dystrophy Association (US), Joining Jack Foundation (UK), the Duchenne Children’s Trust (UK) and the DRF contributed $2 million under a co-ordinated venture philanthropy model, providing return on investment based on future drug sales.
VBP15 is an oral drug that has been shown to be effective in animal models of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In studies, the drug reduced inflammation and stabilised cell membranes, both of which are believed to be relevant to treating DMD, a disease in which muscle fibre membranes are unstable. The drug also showed fewer significant side effects than the steroid Prednisone which can currently be prescribed for DMD patients. Recruitment for the trial is scheduled to start in early 2015.