REASSURANCES have been given that clinical trials in the North involving children with a deadly muscle wasting disease will be followed up.
Researchers in Newcastle contributed to a study that gave children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) hope for the future.
Seven of the 19 children involved in the study responded to an injection from a drug with the potential to reduce the symptoms of the disease. The charity Action Duchenne has welcomed the results of the trial but expressed concern that the trial has not been extended further.
But academics involved in the trials have told The Journal that the next stages of the process will take place.
Action Duchenne chief executive Nick Catlin said: “These results show that we have a potential personalised medicine to treat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
“It is a considerable disappointment however, that the promised extension study of this trial was not undertaken as this would have given more crucial data over a much longer period of exposure.”
Professor Volker Straub, from Newcastle University, said the team that took part in the research alongside the Royal Victoria Infirmary was “world leading”.
He added: “This was a collaborative project between Newcastle University and the University College London and the trial that has made the headlines included 19 patients, seven of those came from Newcastle or our catchment area.
“If you compare it to what has been offered to the patients so far this is very substantial. It is the first time the disease is really tackled. This is the first step and it will give families and patients hope.