Relaxin for Treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Relaxin_SectionInvestigators: Jeff Chamberlain, PhD; Ron Berenson, MD; and Michael Regnier, PhD.

Relaxin is a natural hormone, which has a number of biological effects that may be of benefit in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), including its ability to regenerate muscle, reduce scarring and improve cardiac function. Animal studies have shown that Relaxin promotes healing and increases strength of damaged skeletal muscle in young and aged normal mice. Additional rodent studies have shown that Relaxin reverses fibrosis in muscle as well as in many other tissues and organs. The hormone also has potent therapeutic effects on the heart, which have been demonstrated in several clinical trials in patients with heart failure. In mdx mice, a standard model of DMD, treatment with Relaxin was also shown to improve cardiac function in a recent unpublished study. Relaxin has been demonstrated to be safe and well tolerated in clinical trials, and it should be available for clinical studies. Therefore, we believe that Relaxin could be a safe and effective therapy for DMD that could rapidly move into clinical trials.