Pfizer and CYTOO announced a research collaboration to modify CYTOO’ s existing MyoScreenTM platform to enable its potential use as a Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) target discovery platform.
DMD is a rare and life-threatening genetic disorder that affects children-approximately 1 in 3,500 to 5,000 boys-and families. It is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene that results in progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. By the early teens, most individuals with DMD have lost the ability to walk unassisted and their heart and respiratory muscles have also weakened. Individuals with DMD usually die from cardiomyopathy and respiratory failure in their second decade of life.
CYTOO has developed a muscle-on-a-plate platform using patients’ primary cells, called MyoScreen™. MyoScreen is an in vitro system in which skeletal muscle cells mimic the morphology, contractile and metabolic functions of human muscle in vivo and therefore allows analyses of the molecular mechanisms involved in such functions in health and disease.
Under the terms of the agreement, Pfizer and CYTOO will work together to develop and validate such a target discovery platform using a DMD patient muscle-derived MyoScreen platform. The goal of the collaboration is to attempt to establish a robust in vitro system that may be used for a high throughput target identification screen. Should such a system be developed, Pfizer will have an option to acquire a license for the use of the resulting platform for DMD target identification efforts.
CYTOO is a preclinical stage drug discovery company addressing muscular disorders (NMDs, muscle waste, muscle disuse, metabolic ageing). The company is headquartered in Grenoble (France) and has office in Bethesda, Maryland (USA).