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Leading experts on congenital muscular dystrophy convene at University of Nevada, Reno
Date:4/18/2012

RENO, Nev. The nation's leading scientists and clinicians exploring treatment breakthroughs for congenital muscular dystrophy will convene April 22-24 on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno, where research by Dean Burkin has led to a potential therapy.

At the Myomatrix 2012 conference, experts will share their latest data and findings both published and soon to be published research seeking ways to build on recent progress.

Burkin, a pharmacological researcher and faculty member at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, will present his work on laminin-111, a naturally occurring protein showing promise as a therapy for muscular dystrophy. Burkin's published research showed this protein is quickly picked up in the bloodstream of mice and prevents muscle damage. Initially shown to be an important finding for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the most common form of muscular dystrophy, Burkin's continued research, recently published in the American Journal of Pathology, shows laminin-111 to also be an effective protein substitution therapy for congenital muscular dystrophy in mice.

The University of Nevada, Reno's Tech Transfer Office has licensed the patent for laminin-111 to Prothelia, a Boston biotech company working to develop a human version of the protein for further testing and clinical trials.

"This conference will push the science forward and potentially define the pathway for future development and therapeutics, with the aim of translating research into potential therapies for patients," said Burkin.

The name of the conference, Myomatrix 2012, signals the scientific progress being made on a potential treatment for congenital muscular dystrophy. The first national conference on congenital muscular dystrophy, held in 2009 in Atlanta, took a broad look at the science and therapeutic options being explored at that time. Since then, findings have led the scientific community to center its work on
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Contact: Mike Wolterbeek
mwolterbeek@unr.edu
University of Nevada, Reno
Source:Eurekalert

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