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New £1m grant partnership with LifeArc into CMD research

5 April 2022

We are delighted to announce that Muscular Dystrophy UK (MDUK) is partnering with the charity LifeArc to create a £1 million joint fund. The fund will be aimed at accelerating promising research projects from across the UK to develop new treatments for congenital muscular dystrophy. We have been able to create this partnership thanks to a very generous legacy.

What is congenital muscular dystrophy?

Congenital muscular dystrophies are a group of conditions that share an early presentation and a common muscle pathology. In the great majority of cases, children with congenital muscular dystrophy experience initial symptoms at birth or in the first few months of their life. They present with muscle weakness and can appear to be ‘floppy’. The condition usually progresses slowly and can shorten lifespan.

Why have a call for research?

There are currently no effective treatments for congenital muscular dystrophies. MDUK and LifeArc want to address this by funding treatment-focused research projects that could accelerate the development of new treatments for people with these conditions.

LifeArc’s aim is to support the development of lab-based scientific discoveries to a point at which they can be developed into the next generation of diagnostics, treatments and cures. This makes them an ideal partner for us to support research addressing congenital muscular dystrophies.

What happens next?

Projects must be led by research-active academics or clinicians based in the UK with relevant expertise and who will be actively engaged in directing the project. Applicants can visit the LifeArc website for more information.

There will be a webinar on 27 April and applicants are asked to submit an expression of interest by 31 May 2022. If invited to submit a full proposal, applications should be submitted by 27 September 2022.

Full applications submitted will undergo external peer review and will be considered by an independent panel made up of experts from academia and industry. Final funding decisions will be made by the panel and are expected to be announced in early 2023.

We are very excited about this opportunity and we will update you with the final outcome in early 2023.

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