Overall CORT Abstract The Center for Gene Therapy at The Research Institute of Nationwide Children's Hospital (RINCH) has a dedicated translational program that targets the muscular dystrophies, with a particular longstanding interest in developing meaningful therapies for the most common forms, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD). Our Center's goals include unraveling disease pathogenesis and developing new treatment paradigms that can be translated from the bench to the bedside, and under this CORT proposal we seek to accelerate this translational process. Project 1 (PI, Paul Martin, PhD) seeks extend a therapy now entering trials in DMD to other forms of muscular dystrophy, by applying the overexpression of Galgt2, an enzyme that alters skeletal muscle glycosylation to boost the expression of proteins that ameliorate disease. Project 2 (PI, Scott Harper, PhD) explores novel approaches to modulating the expression of the DUX4 gene to treat the relatively common and debilitating FSHD. Project 3 (PI, Kevin Flanigan, MD) seeks to rapidly translate a newly discovered mechanism for dystrophin translational control into meaningful therapy for boys with DMD. All three projects make use of two critical research cores: the Therapeutic Viral Vector Design and Development Research Core (PI, Louise Rodino-Klapac, PhD) and the Muscular Dystrophy Cell and Serum Banking Core (PI, Kim McBride, MD). In addition to the investigators represented here by projects, the proposed CORT represents a larger muscle disease research base at the Nationwide Children's and the Ohio State University, for which a well-developed pilot and feasibility program is described. This proposed CORT is consistent with the mission of NIAMS, which has the goal of finding effective treatments for and to improving the quality of life of patients with debilitating forms of muscle disease.

Public Health Relevance

Overall CORT Narrative The overall objective of the Center of Research Translation (CORT) in Muscular Dystrophy Therapeutic Development is to enhance the rapid translation of new basic science discoveries into genetic therapies for muscular dystrophies. Based at the Center for Gene Therapy at the Research Institute of Nationwide Children's Hospital, it makes use of the experience of the investigators in bringing AAV-based and other genetic therapies through preclinical development to investigator-sponsored and industry-partnered clinical trials, concentrating on novel approaches to Duchenne, limb-girdle, congenital, and facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophies.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Specialized Center (P50)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZAR1-KM (M1))
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Cheever, Thomas
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Nationwide Children's Hospital
United States
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Giesige, Carlee R; Wallace, Lindsay M; Heller, Kristin N et al. (2018) AAV-mediated follistatin gene therapy improves functional outcomes in the TIC-DUX4 mouse model of FSHD. JCI Insight 3:
Xu, Rui; Jia, Ying; Zygmunt, Deborah A et al. (2018) An Isolated Limb Infusion Method Allows for Broad Distribution of rAAVrh74.MCK.GALGT2 to Leg Skeletal Muscles in the Rhesus Macaque. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev 10:89-104
Wallace, Lindsay M; Saad, Nizar Y; Pyne, Nettie K et al. (2018) Pre-clinical Safety and Off-Target Studies to Support Translation of AAV-Mediated RNAi Therapy for FSHD. Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev 8:121-130
Zygmunt, Deborah A; Crowe, Kelly E; Flanigan, Kevin M et al. (2017) Comparison of Serum rAAV Serotype-Specific Antibodies in Patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Becker Muscular Dystrophy, Inclusion Body Myositis, or GNE Myopathy. Hum Gene Ther 28:737-746