Coalition Duchenne Presents Dr. Ron Victor of Cedars-Sinai with its 2015 Lotus Award

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Dr. Ron Victor, Director of the Cedars-Sinai Center for Hypertension, awarded the 2015 Coalition Duchenne Lotus Award for his outstanding contribution to Duchenne muscular dystrophy research and awareness

Coalition Duchenne, a Newport Beach, California based charity committed to raising awareness for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and funding for Duchenne research, has awarded Dr. Ron Victor, Director of the Cedars-Sinai Center for Hypertension, their 2015 Lotus Award for his outstanding contribution to Duchenne research and awareness. The award presentation was part of Coalition Duchenne’s Night at the Museum fundraiser held at the Marconi Automotive Museum in Tustin, California on November 13th, 2015.

“Ron has been a key advisor and always responsive to our research ideas. He is making a difference for all those with Duchenne,” said Catherine Jayasuriya, founder and executive director of Coalition Duchenne.

“Ron facilitated our cardiac stem cell initiative with Cedars-Sinai and Dr. Eduardo Marbán, and he is an important part of the groundbreaking Hope Duchenne trial that will test Capricor Therapeutic’s cardiac cell therapy in boys and young men with Duchenne for the first time,” she continued. Dr. Marban attended the event with his family.

Dr. Victor is also Associate Director of Clinical Research at Cedars-Sinai, and holds the Burns and Allen Chair in Cardiology Research at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute. He is board certified in internal medicine with a subspecialty in cardiovascular diseases.

Dr. Victor has done extensive research into the beneficial effects of nitric oxide which signals blood vessels to relax during exercise, increasing blood flow. He showed that the popular drugs Viagra and Cialis improved blood flow to the weakened muscles of boys with Duchenne and is now investigating a nitric oxide donor with a grant from Coalition Duchenne.

“I am honored to receive the Lotus Award from Coalition Duchenne. I am thankful for the outstanding team of researchers and clinicians who I work with. Our focus on Duchenne has been so rewarding. I hope for continued success that will benefit all the boys and young men with Duchenne,” said Dr. Victor

The event at the Marconi Museum raised over $100,000 for Duchenne research. Sponsors for the event included: Capricor Therapeutics; Marathon Pharmaceuticals; PTC Therapeutics; Cedars-Sinai Medical Center; and, Sarepta Therapeutics.

About Coalition Duchenne
Coalition Duchenne was founded in 2011 to raise global awareness for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, to fund research and to find a cure for Duchenne. Coalition Duchenne is a US 501c3 non-profit corporation. Its vision is to change the outcome for boys and young men with Duchenne, to rapidly move forward to a new reality of longer, fulfilled lives by funding the best opportunities for research and creating awareness.

Coalition Duchenne has several research initiatives that are making advances in potential cardiac and pulmonary treatments for sufferers of Duchenne muscular dystrophy and other muscle weakening conditions. These include the pioneering collaboration with a team at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, led by Eduardo Marbán MD, PhD working on cardiac-derived stem cells and exosomes in Duchenne. The founders of Coalition Duchenne funded early stage work on two therapies that are currently before the FDA for approval by PTC Therapeutics and Sarepta Therapeutics. Coalition Duchenne was also instrumental advancing Phrixus Pharmaceuticals’ novel therapy Carmeseal. Phrixus recently announced a preclinical study showing strong results that showed Carmeseal protecting both skeletal and cardiac muscle in Duchenne.
For more information about Coalition Duchenne, visit http://www.coalitionduchenne.org.

About Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a progressive muscle wasting disease. It is the most common fatal genetic disease that affects children. Duchenne occurs in 1 in 3,500 male births, across all races, cultures and countries. Duchenne is caused by a defect in the gene that codes for the protein dystrophin. This is a vital protein that helps connect the muscle fiber to the cell membranes. Without dystrophin the muscle cells become unstable, are weakened and lose their functionality. Life expectancy ranges from the mid teenage years to the 30’s.

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Catherine Jayasuriya
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