The award was made through MDA's Venture Philanthropy (MVP) arm, part of MDA's translational research program. Tivorsan is a biotechnology company located in Providence, R.I.
TVN-102 is an experimental drug based on biglycan, a naturally occurring protein found in the membrane surrounding each muscle fiber. Biglycan is part of a cluster of proteins located at intervals in the membrane. These shock-absorbing clusters appear to protect the membrane as muscle fibers contract and relax.
Tivorsan hopes to have completed animal testing and other FDA-required studies of TVN-102 and to request permission for human trials of the drug by late 2012. The company hopes to begin human testing of TVN-102, probably in healthy volunteers without DMD or BMD, in 2012 or 2013.
If the preliminary studies show the drug is safe and well-tolerated and that it has the potential to be effective in treating DMD or BMD, tests in people with one of these diseases will likely follow.