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Muscular Dystrophy Association Bridges Clinical and Academic Neuromuscular Research for the First Time at Annual Meeting

U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Dr. Janet Woodcock, Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, to Deliver Keynote Speech at 2019 Neuromuscular Conference

NEW YORK, March 26, 2019 — With a laser focus on new horizons in neuromuscular research and care, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is combining its Clinical and Scientific Conferences for the first time, establishing a robust, state-of-the-art gathering for both clinicians and investigators from across the nation. Medical and scientific experts in neuromuscular disease from academia, private practice, government and industry will be part of this inaugural gathering, themed “Progress in Motion”. The Annual MDA Clinical and Scientific Conference will be held April 14-17, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Orlando.

“MDA’s care and research network has been vital to each milestone and achievement in neuromuscular disease. Convening the research and clinical communities under the umbrella of one comprehensive conference is part of MDA’s ongoing commitment to facilitate collaboration as well as further strengthen our ability to make a powerful impact in diagnosis, progression and treatment,” said MDA President and CEO Lynn O’Connor Vos. “We know that it requires both researchers and clinicians working together to make the necessary strides in both providing care and finding a cure – ultimately advancing our organization’s mission.”

Expected to draw over one thousand attendees, conference highlights include Dr. Janet Woodcock’s keynote speech, a multi-expert U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel and more than 25 platform and 80 poster presentations.

“This is an unprecedented time of progress for neuromuscular disease treatments,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., Director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “In just the last three years, new therapies have been approved by the FDA – providing previously non-existent therapeutic options to patients who need them most. I look forward to discussing and celebrating these successes, as we welcome a new era in neuromuscular disease treatment and research.”

The conference provides an invaluable opportunity for key members of the neuromuscular disease community to discuss life-changing advancements, explore new investigative opportunities and work directly with individuals facing neuromuscular diseases.

Conference Highlights & MDA Flagship Initiatives
At the conference, MDA will share and celebrate the latest in the neuromuscular disease field across various sessions, including several flagship programs and initiatives, such as:

  • MDA Scholars Networking Session: Dedicated to showcasing neuromuscular disease research by young, MDA-funded scientists.
    • Sunday, 4/14: 3:00-5:00 p.m. EST
  • Keynote Address by Dr. Janet Woodcock, Director, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration
    • Monday, 4/15: 9:00-10:00 a.m. EST
  • FDA Panel with Dr. Janet Woodcock, Dr. Peter Marks, Director, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, and Leading Experts
    • Monday, 4/15: 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EST
  • Two-Part Gene-Targeting Therapies Session: Featuring leading researchers in the field of genetic medicine.
    • Monday, 4/15: 1:30-3:30 p.m. and 4:00-6:00 p.m. EST
  • Advocacy Pavilion & First-Time Technology Pavilion: An Advocacy Pavilion featuring more than 13 advocacy organizations and a Technology Pavilion highlighting the latest advances and technology from leading tech innovators will make a debut throughout the conference to foster collaboration opportunities amongst clinicians, researchers, pharma, biotech and industry partners.
    • Sunday, 4/14-Wednesday, 4/17
  • Newborn Screening Panel: Featuring leading medical and advocacy experts and key stakeholders from institutions and organizations across the U.S.
    • Wednesday, 4/17: 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. EST

The conference will cover a broad range of topics, including genetic-based diagnostics and the rise of personalized medicine; latest developments in newborn screening; best practices in disease management concerning cardiac care, physical therapy, bone health, technology and nutrition; transitioning from pediatric to adult care; augmentative communication; therapeutics and clinical trials.

The full conference agenda is available on the MDA website at: https://www.mda.org/conferences/2019-clinical-and-scientific-conference/agenda

About MDA

MDA is committed to transforming the lives of people affected by muscular dystrophy, ALS and related neuromuscular diseases. We do this through innovations in science and innovations in care. As the largest source of funding for neuromuscular disease research outside of the federal government, MDA has committed more than $1 billion since our inception to accelerate the discovery of therapies and cures. Research we have supported is directly linked to life-changing therapies across multiple neuromuscular diseases. MDA's MOVR is a transformative platform, combining MDA's Care Center Network with a state-of-the-art information management system to improve health outcomes for neuromuscular disease patients and accelerate drug development.

MDA supports the largest network of multidisciplinary clinics providing best-in-class care at more than 150 of the nation's top medical institutions. Our Resource Center serves the community with one-on-one specialized support, and we offer educational conferences, events and materials for families and health care providers. Each year, thousands of children and young adults learn vital life skills and gain independence at MDA Summer Camp and through recreational programs, at no cost to families. For more information, visit mda.org.

For More Information:
Nancy Intrator
Muscular Dystrophy Association