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Halo Therapeutics Receives $500,000 MDA Award to Develop Drug for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Date:11/14/2013

Newton, MA and Tucson, AZ (PRWEB) November 14, 2013

Halo Therapeutics LLC and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) today announced that $500,000 has been awarded for development of the experimental drug HT-100 as a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). The award to Halo, a subsidiary of DART Therapeutics Inc., comes from MDA Venture Philanthropy (MVP), part of MDA's translational research program.

HT-100 is an oral compound designed to combat excessive inflammation and scar formation ("fibrosis") in muscle tissue and to promote healthy muscle fiber regeneration. HT-100 is currently being tested in a multicenter clinical trial in 30 boys and young men with DMD.

DMD is one of nine types of muscular dystrophy, a group of genetic, degenerative diseases primarily affecting voluntary muscles. Caused by mutations in the gene that makes dystrophin (a protein that normally protects muscle cells and keeps them intact), DMD eventually weakens all skeletal muscles (including those used for breathing) and the heart. DMD affects approximately 1 in 3,500 boys with an estimated patient population exceeding 50,000 worldwide.

"We are extremely pleased to have the support of the MDA as we continue development of HT-100," said Marc Blaustein, DART's chief business officer. "This significant award comes at a crucial time, as we have transitioned to clinical testing of HT-100. Ours is a battle against the clock, and this funding from MDA's MVP helps ensure that we can continue rapid progress toward developing HT-100 as a therapy for boys and young men with DMD."

Jane Larkindale, MDA's vice president of research, said, "Excessive inflammation and fibrosis in muscle can interfere with muscle regeneration and can be a significant barrier
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