CENTOGENE today announced a 12-month strategic collaboration with Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SRPT) for the identification of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) in the Middle East and North Africa region.
CENTOGENE will perform complete molecular diagnostic testing using deletion/duplication analysis and full length sequencing of the DMD gene in MLPA negative patients. Under the terms of the agreement with Sarepta, CENTOGENE will also provide diagnostic services to physicians treating patients exhibiting symptoms related to DMD. Physicians can submit a patient sample via CentoCard® ̶ CENTOGENE’s proprietary, validated dried blood spot collection kit, using a small amount of blood.
“Our collaboration with Sarepta Therapeutics further demonstrates CENTOGENE’s commitment to accelerating the development of new orphan drugs by using our knowledge of the global rare disease market ̶ in particular our expertise in the identification of DMD patients,” commented Dr. Arndt Rolfs, CEO and founder of CENTOGENE. “Today, as the world recognizes Rare Disease Day and the tremendous challenges that people living with a rare disease face on a daily basis, we remain dedicated to transforming the science of genetic information into solutions and creating hope for patients with rare diseases and their families.”
“Sarepta’s goal is to bring a better life to all eligible individuals with DMD around the globe, and to do so with great expediency. Today’s agreement with CENTOGENE is a step to achieving this goal,” stated Doug Ingram, Sarepta’s president and chief executive officer.
DMD is a genetic disorder affecting approximately 1 in 3,500 to 5,000 newborn boys. The disorder causes progressive weakness and muscle wasting, and is caused by a lack of dystrophin, an essential protein that helps keep muscle cells intact. Muscle weakness becomes increasingly noticeable by age 3 to 5, and most patients use a wheelchair by the time they are 13, having lost the ability to walk. During adolescence, cardiac and respiratory muscle deterioration lead to serious, life-threatening complications.