Rhode island biotech startup Tivorsan Pharmaceuticals Inc. won a $1 million dollars funding award from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) to support the company’s improvement of the muscular dystrophy remedy candidate.
The award, from MDA venture Philanthropy, is expected to help the Providence enterprise rate up its preclinical work for a recombinant humanized form of biglycan, a protein found normally on muscle soluble fiber membranes.
Tivorsan’s medicine treatment, TVN-102, continues to be tested on mice with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic muscle-weakening disease that has effects on boys, and was found to aid muscle function while decreasing muscle degeneration.
The MDA previously sponsored the work of Tivorsan founding scientist Justin Fallon of Brown University, contributing to the discovery of biglycan’s attraction with the utrophin protein, which continues to be shown to support muscle function and reduce weakening with the muscle.
Fallon co-founded Tivorsan with colleagues from Greenwich, Conn.-based old Forge Holdings and Baltimore-based LifeTech Research. The company, which is also developing remedy for Becker muscular dystrophy, has received funding from DMD-focused philanthropies Charley’s Fund and Nash Avery Foundation, as well as federal sources.