DRUG FOR MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY
ANCHOR LEAD: A NEW USE FOR AN OLD DRUG MAY BENEFIT THOSE WITH MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
People who have the most common form of muscular dystrophy may soon have a treatment for the muscle wasting that characterizes the disease that’s safe, effective, and has been on the market for years. The drug is called losartan, and Hal Dietz, study team leader at Johns Hopkins, says the initial work in mice shows dramatic improvement.
DIETZ: I think it’s very exciting. People with muscular dystrophy currently have some therapies that can delay the rapid decline in muscle function, but only for a few years. These therapies also have side effects. They have significant toxicity. The beauty of Losartan is its been used for twenty years to treat hypertension, it’s known to be well-tolerated, it’s known to be very safe, so we think this can transition very quickly from an experience in the laboratory to a clinical trial. :29
Dietz expects clinical trials using losartan to begin recruiting patients very shortly, since losartan was approved long ago. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.