A large-scale, multinational, phase 3 trial of the experimental drug ataluren has opened its first trial site, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The trial is recruiting boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) or Becker muscular dystrophy (BMD) caused by anonsense mutation — also known as a premature stop codon — in the dystrophin gene. This type of mutation causes cells to stop synthesizing a protein before the process is complete, resulting in a short, nonfunctional protein. Nonsense mutations are believed to cause DMD or BMD in approximately 10 to 15 percent of boys with these disorders.
Ataluren — sometimes referred to as a stop codon read-through drug — has the potential to overcome the effects of a nonsense mutation and allow functional dystrophin — the muscle protein that’s missing in Duchenne MD and deficient in Becker MD — to be produced.
The orally delivered drug is being developed by PTC Therapeutics, a…
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