CureDuchenne Ventures, the research funding arm of CureDuchenne, announces an investment in Mesentech Inc, a regenerative medicine company with a prodrug platform that selectively delivers therapeutics to bone. The investment is part of a new joint funding collaboration with the Charles H. Hood Foundation (CHF) that looks to advance early-stage research for pediatric conditions. 

The investment supports Mesentech’s lead program, MES-1007, into clinical development and its evaluation in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Pediatric osteoporosis is a significant problem for DMD patients, leading to frequent fractures and premature loss of ambulation. 

There are currently no approved therapies for bone wastage for individuals affected by Duchenne. There is tremendous potential for MES-1007 to be the first targeted therapy to specifically address bone wastage in these individuals, a media release explains.

“We are excited about the potential impact Mesentech’s bone regenerative treatment will have for the Duchenne community. 

“By collaborating with CHF on this investment, we can greatly increase the impact of our venture philanthropy model. Addressing bone morbidities that contribute to the loss of ambulation could significantly add quality of life to everyone affected by Duchenne.”

— Debra Miller, founder and CEO of CureDuchenne

“The Hood Foundation is proud to join CureDuchenne in delivering capital at a critical juncture for a novel approach to address a great need for those living with Duchenne.

“Mesentech’s program fits perfectly with our investment objective of backing game-changing innovation that improves outcomes for children afflicted by disease.” 

— John Parker, a CHF trustee and managing director of the foundation’s program-related investment fund

In addition to the funds provided, CureDuchenne will play an active role in helping the company advance their prodrug technology platform for Duchenne. As part of the transaction, CureDuchenne’s Chief Scientific Officer, Michael Kelly, PhD, will be added to Mesentech’s scientific advisory board. 

“We are delighted that CureDuchenne and the Hood Foundation see the great potential to the DMD community of MES-1007 treatment and to welcome Dr. Kelly to our scientific advisory board. 

“The investment by CureDuchenne Ventures and the Hood Foundation supports the bone regenerative potential of MES-1007 and our bi-specific prodrug technology platform. We look forward to working with Dr Kelly and the rest of the CureDuchenne team to evaluate MES-1007 bone growth potential in DMD.” 

— Jonathan Polak, Mesentech’s CEO

CureDuchenne will also be hosting a webinar with Mesentech on December 10, titled Mesentech and The Importance of Bone Health

[Source(s): CureDuchenne, Mesentech]

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