Duchenne UK and Joining Jack have granted Professor Steve Winder a further £60,000 to continue to investigate the use of soy products as a treatment for DMD. We have now invested more than £135,000 towards Professor Winder’s investigation.
The first study looked at some of the ingredients in Haelan 951, which is a fermented soy product. Many families reportedly give children with Duchenne Haelan 951, as it is thought to slow down disease progression. But we did not have any scientific evidence to back this up, so that is why we funded the first study with Professor Winder at the University of Sheffield in 2016.
The study compared the effects of Haelan 951, genistein (an isoflavone) and Bowman Birk Inhibitor (BBI) in mdx mice. Genistein and Bowman Birk Inhibitor are both components of Haelan 951. The study showed that the diet supplemented with BBI, significantly improved holding impulse (grip strength). The data revealed no significant benefit of Haelan 951, nor genistein, nor genistein combined with BBI.
Duchenne UK is now funding a further study to enable Professor Winder and his team to carry out a dose-escalation study for BBI. We hope to find out whether BBI displays a dose-dependent effect in slowing disease progression in a DMD mouse model, with the aim of finding the most effective dose. Disease pathophysiology (the impact of the disease on the body) will be measured using histology, biomarkers and muscle performance.
If this further study shows the same effectiveness that was seen in the first study, the next steps would be to make a submission to TACT (TREAT-NMD Advisory Committee for Therapeutics) for a clinical trial for BBI in DMD.