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Local Medical Clinic is Among 10 Selected for MDA Clinical Research Network

COLUMBUS, OH - 10/10/2008

The Muscular Dystrophy Association medical clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus has been selected to become part of MDA’s new Clinical Research Network.

The new network consists of 10 elite MDA medical clinics that will function as clinical research centers. Five centers – including the MDA clinic at Nationwide Children's -- will support trials and studies in muscular dystrophy (DMD), and five will focus on (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease).

"Despite the many advances in our understanding of DMD in recent years, we still have much to learn about optimal medical management for this devastating disease," said Valerie Cwik, MDA senior vice president of research and medical director. "The center at Nationwide Children's Hospital will conduct well-controlled clinical studies to support the development of standards of care, ultimately improving care for all patients with DMD."

MDA has committed $1 million a year to fund the network, whose goals include:
• speedier development and testing of new treatments;
• the development of standardized outcome measures to be used in clinical trials and studies;
• the development of clinical studies that will lead to standardized clinical care; and
• encouraging communication and collaboration with other MDA clinics on Network projects.

The center at Nationwide Children's Hospital will receive $100,000 annually from MDA to cover its infrastructure costs, and will submit grant applications for additional assistance from MDA and entities such as the National Institutes of Health.

Jerry Mendell, co-director of the MDA clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, will be the new research center’s principal investigator, proposing projects to be undertaken by the network and participating in shared network activities.

MDA is a voluntary health agency supporting programs of worldwide research, comprehensive services, advocacy, and professional and public health education for muscular dystrophy and related diseases. The Association’s programs are funded almost entirely by individual private contributors.

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Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000