Stay informed. See MDA updates on COVID-19
Laxman Gangwani, associate professor in the department of biomedical sciences at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, Texas, was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $280,500 over three years to identify therapeutic targets in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
While promising SMA therapies are being tested in patients — and one, Spinraza, recently was granted FDA approval — it is important to continue to identify new and different approaches that could be used in combination with other therapies already approved or currently in the pipeline.
With colleagues, Gangwani has shown that the activation of a motor neuron-specific version of an enzyme called JNK3 mediates neurodegeneration in SMA and that inhibiting it provides neuroprotection and ameliorates disease symptoms.
Now the team will examine the effects of pharmacological inhibition of the JNK enzyme using JNK inhibitors in an SMA mouse model.
If successful, Gangwani’s work could lead to the identification of drug candidates for further development and testing as potential treatments for SMA.
Funding for this MDA research grant began Feb. 1, 2017.
Muscular Dystrophy Association National Office
161 N. Clark, Suite 3550
Chicago, Illinois 60601
800-572-1717 | ResourceCenter@mdausa.org
The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) is a qualified 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
©2020, Muscular Dystrophy Association Inc. All rights reserved.
2020, Muscular Dystrophy Association Inc. All rights reserved.