Summit recently announced the formation of an Advisory Board to support the scientific and clinical development of its utrophin modulator program for the treatment of Duchenne.
The Board brings together six world-renowned scientists and clinicians with expertise in the field of neuromuscular diseases, and particularly Duchenne.
Included are PPMD Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) member Kate Bushby and SAC Chair and PPMD Scientific Director, Lee Sweeney.
"We are absolutely delighted to have brought together these eminent thought leaders in neuromuscular diseases to form a world-class Advisory Board that will support our DMD programme," commented Glyn Edwards, Chief Executive Officer of Summit. "Their expertise brings a deep insight into the disease and will provide invaluable input into future patient clinical trials to support the progression of our utrophin modulation programme, including our lead candidate SMT C1100."
"Summit's utrophin modulation program is a very promising approach that offers the opportunity to treat all the genetic forms of DMD," added Dr Kenneth Fischbeck, NIH Distinguished Investigator and member of the Advisory Board. "I look forward to working with this outstanding group of clinicians and scientists, and contributing to the progress of Summit's DMD program as we explore the potential of utrophin modulation as an effective treatment for this disease."
The members of Summit's Duchenne Advisory Board:
- Kate Bushby, MD, Professor of Neuromuscular Genetics at Newcastle University, Deputy Director of MRC Centre for Neuromuscular Diseases at London and Newcastle. Professor Bushby, a clinical academic at one of the leading international neuromuscular centres, is involved in an extensive programme of research in neuromuscular diseases from basic molecular pathology to clinical studies. Professor Bushby is one of the founding coordinators of the TREAT-NMD network and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committees of the French Muscular Dystrophy Association ('AFM'), Action Duchenne and Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.
- Kay E Davies, MA, DPhil, DBE, FMedSci, FRS, Dr Lee's Professor of Anatomy, Director MRC Functional Genomics Unit, and Associate Head of the Medical Sciences Division at the University of Oxford. Professor Davies has a long- standing research interest in neuromuscular diseases and is a pioneer of utrophin modulation as a therapeutic approach for the treatment of DMD. Professor Davies is Chair of Action Duchenne's Scientific Advisory Board, a member of the Science Committee of the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign and a Governor of the Wellcome Trust.
- Kenneth H Fischbeck, MD, NIH Distinguished Investigator and Chief of the Neurogenetics Branch at National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke ('NINDS'). Dr Fischbeck's research focuses on identifying the causes and mechanisms of hereditary neurological and neuromuscular diseases with a particular interest in muscular dystrophy. Dr Fischbeck serves on advisory boards for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the French Muscular Dystrophy Association ('AFM').
- Louis M Kunkel, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics at Harvard Medical School, and Director of Program in Genomics at Boston Children's Hospital. Professor Kunkel is an internationally recognised geneticist whose research identified the gene and encoded protein dystrophin that is mutated in boys with DMD. Professor Kunkel has a longstanding interest in developing therapies for the muscular dystrophies. Professor Kunkel is Chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Scientific Advisory Committee.
- Francesco Muntoni, MD, PhD, Chair of Paediatric Neurology at the Institute of Child Health, London, and Director of the Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre at University College London. Professor Muntoni is a paediatric neurologist at the UK's largest paediatric neuromuscular centre of excellence and has a long standing interest in the clinical and molecular aspects of neuromuscular diseases including DMD. Professor Muntoni is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Italian Telethon and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Myotubular Trust.
- H Lee Sweeney, PhD, William Maul Massey Professor, Chairman of Physiology, and Director of the Center for Orphan Disease Research and Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. Dr Sweeney is a physiologist whose research interests evaluate the possible causes and treatments of muscle diseases, with a particular focus on DMD. Dr Sweeney is the Senior Scientific Advisor to the Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy.