DART or Dystrophy Annihilation Research Trust is on the way to find a cure to Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Let’s find out more.
Though medical science has progressed in leaps and bounds, there are still many diseases that have no known cure. Muscular Dystrophy is one such disease.
Until now, there has been no known cure and patients have had to rely solely on steroids and physical therapy to manage the condition. The good news is that Bengaluru based Dystrophy Annihilation Research Trust (DART) may be on the path to finding a cure.
What Is Muscular Dystrophy?
Muscular dystrophy is a disease that causes loss of muscle mass and progressive weakness. It is known to only affect boys and can become apparent at an early age.
Muscular dystrophy is often genetic and is caused by a lack of a cytoplasmic protein known as dystrophin. The disease progresses fast and starts by affecting the leg muscles. By the time the child is 8 to 10 years old, he may be wheelchair-bound.
The life expectancy of such boys is typically limited to around 18 -24 years. Most patients succumb to respiratory or cardiac failure. According to DART, one in every 3500 boys suffers from this disease.
Over 5 lakhs boys in India have been diagnosed with this condition.
What Is DART?
Dystrophy Annihilation Research Trust is the first research lab in India to focus on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). The organization was founded in 2012 by RS Anand who’s son was diagnosed with the condition. DART aims its programs at:
- Making information about DMD easily accessible
- Raising awareness about the disorder and the special needs of disabled children
- Inclusion in education, public place sand employment
- Research for orphan diseases
- Counseling for patients and their families
- Medical advisory
- Rehabilitation support
Their research lab has recently been granted permission by the Drugs Controller General of India to hold clinical trials for a new drug that could treat this condition.
- Address: 295, 14th Cross Rd, Dollars Colony, Bengaluru- 560094
- Phone: +91-80-2341-2725, ++91-98801-12725
- Email: email@example.com
The Clinical Trial
The trial is scheduled to be conducted in early 2021. Preclinical trials have been successful. Nine hospitals across 8 cities including Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Jaipur and Bhopal will be involved in this trial.
The drug is being described by DART as a personalized genetic intervention drug that can arrest the progress of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. It uses antisense oligonucleotides-based exon-skipping technology. It helps the DMD gene produce more dystrophin protein to strengthen and protect muscles.
The trial will be registered with the Clinical Trial Registry of India before subjects can be enrolled.