The FSHD Society announces the opening of its 28th annual International Research Congress (IRC), which is being conducted entirely online.

The 2-day virtual conference is a global platform for the discussion and dissemination of cutting-edge research on facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). More than 300 researchers, clinicians, industry representatives and patient advocates are attending, a media release from FSHD Society explains.

Meeting Highlights

The 2021 International Research Congress will include a presentation by Fulcrum Therapeutics of the data from its ReDUX4 phase 2b clinical trial. The clinical trial is designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of losmapimod, an investigational selective p38α/β MAPK inhibitor, in addressing the underlying cause of FSHD.

To conduct the trial, Fulcrum measured multiple clinical and patient-reported outcome assessments and broke new ground in the use of muscle biomarkers and whole body musculoskeletal magnetic resonance imaging as outcome measures, both areas that are of keen interest to all drug developers in this space.

The congress is also convening a panel to discuss antisense strategies to treat FSHD, with seven industry and academic speakers presenting various approaches to silencing the target gene, called DUX4, and delivering their candidate molecules into muscle safely at therapeutically relevant levels.

Keynote talks will highlight topics that promise to lead to important new insights and therapeutic targets. Russell Butterfield, MD PhD, of the University of Utah, will speak about an 80-year study of a large Utah kindred with hundreds of FSHD cases, which continues to provide insight into factors that influence the severity of disease symptoms. Stephen Tapscott, MD PhD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, will address aspects of the immune response in FSHD, the release continues.

“Although current circumstances prevent us from hosting an in-person meeting, we are delighted by the incredible number of researchers and clinicians who were able to advance the field during these challenging times. We are grateful for the tremendous support from our sponsors and families, without whom none of this would be possible.”

— Jamshid Arjomand, PhD, chief science officer of the FSHD Society

[Source(s): FSHD Society, PRWeb]

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