CepTor Corporation has announced that Banyan Biomarkers, Inc. has been retained to identify a biomarker assay that evaluates the usefulness of Myodur for treating Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) in children.
The goal of Banyan's agreement with CepTor is to identify specific proteins or biomarkers in the muscles that will determine whether treatment with Myodur is effective for DMD.
Norman Barton, M.D., PhD, CepTor's Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer noted, "This particular biomarker provides us with a real time read out by measuring specific breakdown products that are a unique fingerprint of calpain activity."
The principle behind the development of Myodur is to normalize the activity of calpain, an enzyme which initiates the destruction of cells, and is a key factor in many neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases.
Sensitive biomarkers, like those being discovered by Banyan, are invaluable for investigating pharmacodynamic effects, that is, the action of a compound like Myodur on the body and quickly establishing dose response relationships.
Banyan's cofounder and Chief Scientific Officer, Kevin Wang, said, "Companies like CepTor are dedicated to finding new drugs and therapies to treat disease; we're delighted that our company has the tools and resources to help them quickly and efficiently reach their goals."
"We are committed to treating Duchenne's muscular dystrophy, an orphan disease that affects 25,000 children in the U.S. and EU," said William Pursley, CepTor's CEO and Chairman.
Pursley continued, "Our partnership with Banyan is an important component in our fight against this dreadful genetic disease. The biomarker assays are a key element in CepTor's preclinical, clinical and commercial programs."