Santhera teams up with Basel on treatments for rare neuromuscular devices

05 Dec 2006 | News


Neuromuscular diseases specialist Santhera Pharmaceuticals and the Biozentrum at the University of Basel are joining TREAT-NMD (Translational Research in Europe – Assessment and Treatment of Neuromuscular Diseases), a pan-European network that aims to coordinate research into rare neuromuscular diseases (NMDs) and accelerate the development of  treatments.

TREAT-NMD, funded by a €10 million grant from the European Union’s 6th Framework Programme, brings together researchers, doctors, patient groups and industry specialists from 21 organisations in 11 countries.

As its contribution to the programme, Santhera aims to will develop new protocols to harmonise and accelerate preclinical studies of candidate drugs.

In parallel, researchers at the Biozentrum will select suitable models of preclinical disease. The combination of standardised procedures and disease models will allow researchers to compare results directly, reducing the number of experiments it takes to identify treatment strategies and predict clinical outcomes.

Santhera currently has two treatments for neuromuscular diseases in four Phase II and III clinical studies. 

TREAT-NMD’s launch comes 20 years after scientists found the gene that causes Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) but as yet no cure has been found. The initiative is co-coordinated by Kate Bushby and Volker Straub, both professors of neuromuscular genetics at Newcastle University’s Institute of Human Genetics, UK. The 11 countries involved are the UK (including Imperial College London), Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Italy, Finland, Sweden and Hungary.

Never miss an update from Science|Business:   Newsletter sign-up