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Merozyne develops new treatment against congenital m dystrophy

Lund, Sweden
Friday, May 29, 2015, 10:00 Hrs  [IST]

Merozyne Therapeutics AB has started a project aiming to develop a pharmaceutical treatment against laminin alpha2 chain-deficient congenital muscular dystrophy (MDC1A) by exploiting the unique research conducted by Prof. Madeleine Durbeej-Hjalt and Dr Virginie Carmignac at Lund University.

Merozyne Therapeutics AB was recently established by a number of entrepreneurial life science companies co-localized at the research park Medicon Village in Lund who teamed up with the two innovative researchers. The founding members of Merozyne Therapeutics will each contribute their respective highly complementary expertise in drug discovery, medicinal chemistry, disease biology, IP & project management and business development, with a combined staff of nearly 30 experienced biotech professionals. Encouraging data have already been obtained in a relevant in vivo disease model. Merozyne Therapeutics will now raise a first round of capital to further advance the project and develop a clinical candidate.

MDC1A is a rare and severe form of muscular dystrophy caused by mutations in the gene encoding the alpha2 chain of the extracellular matrix protein laminin (merosin). There is currently no cure for MDC1A. Patients have a degraded quality of life and often die before reaching adolescence. Although progress is being made to develop treatments for other forms of muscular dystrophy, most notably for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, little or no progress has been made in addressing the unmet medical needs of MDC1A patients.

The drug development program now embarked on by Merozyne Therapeutics has the potential to offer new and unique possibilities to treat MDC1A. Such a new pharmaceutical treatment will provide improved quality of life and potentially a prolonged life span for the patient.

Björn Walse, CEO of SARomics Biostructures, says “We are excited about this new innovative project and the strength of the project team. Our collective aim is to develop an effective drug therapy for the children affected by this disease.”

Eskil Söderlind, Partner at Avena Partners, says “The project at Merozyne Therapeutics opens up a promising possibility for future pharmaceutical treatment of MDC1A. The members of the joint team in the company complement each other in a very productive way.”


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