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FightSMA Awards $250,000 Grant to Gene Researcher at The Ohio State University
Date:5/19/2010

ration with The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation and the SMA Community,” said FightSMA President Martha Slay. “Gene therapy research is a marathon run, but the work of Dr. Kaspar will advance the field significantly for SMA.”

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is the leading genetic cause of infant death. SMA is caused by the absence of a gene that is critical for muscle strength, the SMN (“survivor motor neuron”) gene. That gene is absent in approximately one in 30 individuals. If both a man and woman are lacking the necessary SMN gene, the chances are 25% that any of their children will manifest SMA.

An objective of gene therapy is the restoration of the missing gene through delivery systems called “vectors.” Adeno-associated virus (AAV) is considered to be an attractive candidate for the construction of vectors.

FightSMA was created in 1991 with the mission to “strategically accelerate the development of a treatment or a cure for spinal muscular atrophy.” Working with the guidance of an international Scientific Advisory Committee, FightSMA has awarded SMA research grants at more than 40 universities and research institutions in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Italy. FightSMA has chapters across the United States and in Canada.

For more information, contact: www.fightsma.org or 804.515.0080

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Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/spinal-muscular-atrophy/research/prweb4022064.htm.


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