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Michael's Cause, Ryan's Quest, Save Our Sons, Pietro's Fight, and Foundation LaForce Pro


HAMILTON, N.J., March 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Ryan's Quest, a New Jersey based non-profit organization dedicated to finding treatments and a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is thrilled to announce the collaboration of five global Duchenne foundations to provide a $596,700 research grant to fund a promising Duchenne research project for Jerome Frenette Ph.D at The University of Laval in Quebec, Canada.

Michael's Cause (USA), Pietro's Fight (USA), Save Our Sons (AUS), Foundation LaForce (CAN), and program liaison Ryan's Quest (USA) are grassroots foundations founded by families affected by Duchenne. These family-founded and operated organizations believe that global collaboration between Duchenne patient organizations is essential to speeding potential therapies through the drug development pipeline.

Jerome Frenette Ph.D, a world renowned scientist who specializes in the study of neuromuscular diseases such as Duchenne and ALS, will carry out this groundbreaking research. This grant will support Dr. Frenette's preclinical studies to determine if osteoprotegerin (OPG), alone or in combination with beta agonists or glucocorticoids, has a positive effect on muscle health in Duchenne models.

"Our recently published work shows that osteoprotegerin (OPG), a bone protector, completely rescues fast-twitch skeletal muscles that have been damaged from contraction induced injury in Duchenne" says Dr. Frenette. "Our lab will study combinations of OPG and beta agonists and glucocorticoids that are already used to treat osteoporosis, asthma, and chronic inflammatory disease, and apply these results to potential new Duchenne treatments".

"Financial support from Duchenne non-profits is crucial to pursuing this research in order to translate our preclinical findings into clinical results for DMD patients," continues Dr. Frenette.

"The Duchenne community has high hopes that funding research that studies the combinations of already approved drugs and OPG will lead to Duchenne treatments that restore the function of dystrophic muscles without correcting the dystrophin gene," says David Schultz, President and Co-founder of Ryan's Quest. "The organizations involved in funding this project understand the critical importance of advancing research in candidate therapies with the most potential to succeed".

The five non-profit organizations involved are seeking additional collaborators to help fund this research project. Interested foundations or individuals are encouraged to contact Ryan's Quest in order to fund or learn more about Dr. Frenette's Duchenne research.

About Duchenne muscular dystrophy: Duchenne is a progressive neuromuscular disorder that causes a loss of motor, pulmonary, and cardiac function, and premature death. It is the most common lethal pediatric genetic disorder, and it affects every 1 in 3,500 live male births and some females. Duchenne is caused by the body's inability to create dystrophin, a large protein found in muscle cells. Duchenne has no FDA approved treatment or cure and is 100% fatal. Children with Duchenne are born normal and decline over time, usually losing their ability to walk around the age of 12 and succumbing to the disease in their early to mid-twenties.

About Ryan's Quest: Since 2008, Ryan's Quest, has worked to raise awareness for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and has raised over $1.7 million dollars for Duchenne research. Ryan's Quest is a proud member and co-founder of the Duchenne Alliance- a growing group of independent non-profit organizations from around the world, dedicated to working together to fund promising biomedical research and clinical trials in Duchenne.

Ryan's Quest is a registered charity with 501(c)(3) status from the IRS; all donations are tax deductible.www.ryansquest.org.

Media Contact: David Schultz, Ryan's Quest info@ryansquest.org

Media Contact: David Schultz, Ryan's Quest, 609.947.3611, info@ryansquest.org

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