Sarepta Therapeutics Receives Fast Track Designation for SRP-9001 Micro-Dystrophin Gene Therapy for the Treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. announced that the FDA has granted Fast Track designation to SRP-9001. SRP-9001 is an investigational gene transfer therapy intended to deliver its micro-dystrophin-encoding gene to muscle tissue for the targeted production of the micro-dystrophin protein.
[Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc.]
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The Unified Myofibrillar Matrix for Force Generation in Muscle

Scientists demonstrated that striated muscle cells formed a continuous myofibrillar matrix linked together by frequently branching sarcomeres.
[Nature Communications]
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Foreign Researchers Accused of Hiding Links to Chinese Military

Four Chinese nationals have been charged with visa fraud after revelations that they sent information on the layout of US labs and research carried out by colleagues back to China.
[The Scientist]
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French Science Bill Promises Boost to Public R&D

The French government this week unveiled a draft science bill that promises to increase public research spending with an extra €25 billion over the next ten years.
[ScienceInsider]
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Beneficial Effects of IL-4 and IL-6 on Rat Neonatal Target Cardiac Cells

Scientists found that M2 compared to M1 macrophage-conditioned media upregulated neonatal cardiomyocyte proliferation, suppressed myofibroblast-induced differentiation and stimulated endothelial cell tube formation.
[Scientific Reports]
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Clinical Trials Rebound After COVID-19 Crash, but Can Enrollment Gains Continue?

For the hundreds of thousands of people enrolling in clinical trials every year—and for whom experimental therapies can offer a last hope—a new report provides some welcome news: Enrollment in clinical studies in the United States is on the rebound after disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
[ScienceInsider]
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Printed Elastic Membranes for Multimodal Pacing and Recording of Human Stem-Cell-Derived Cardiomyocytes

The authors demonstrated interfacing of cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells, which were engineered to express Channelrhodopsin-2.
[npj Flexible Electronics]
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Science Money Slashed in EU’s €1.8-Trillion Budget Deal

A historic €1.8-trillion (US$2.1-trillion) budget deal reached by European Union (EU) leaders to fund its next seven years — and its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic — has left scientists and research advocates disappointed.
[Nature News]
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Selective Protection of Human Cardiomyocytes from Anthracycline Cardiotoxicity by Small Molecule Inhibitors of MAP4K4

Researchers report successful protection from doxorubicin in two independent human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte lines, using two potent, highly selective MAP4K4 inhibitors.
[Scientific Reports]
Golforoush, P. A., Narasimhan, P., Chaves-Guerrero, P. P., Lawrence, E., Newton, G., Yan, R., Harding, S. E., Perrior, T., Chapman, K. L., & Schneider, M. D. (2020). Selective protection of human cardiomyocytes from anthracycline cardiotoxicity by small molecule inhibitors of MAP4K4. Scientific Reports, 10(1), 12060. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-68907-1 Cite
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Metabolic Maturation Media Improve Physiological Function of Human iPSC-Derived Cardiomyocytes

Scientists describe maturation media designed to provide oxidative substrates adapted to the metabolic needs of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes.
[Cell Reports]
Feyen, D. A. M., McKeithan, W. L., Bruyneel, A. A. N., Spiering, S., Hörmann, L., Ulmer, B., Zhang, H., Briganti, F., Schweizer, M., Hegyi, B., Liao, Z., Pölönen, R.-P., Ginsburg, K. S., Lam, C. K., Serrano, R., Wahlquist, C., Kreymerman, A., Vu, M., Amatya, P. L., … Mercola, M. (2020). Metabolic Maturation Media Improve Physiological Function of Human iPSC-Derived Cardiomyocytes. Cell Reports, 32(3). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107925 Cite
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Cofilin Loss in Drosophila Muscles Contributes to Muscle Weakness through Defective Sarcomerogenesis during Muscle Growth

Investigators showed that knockdown of Drosophila cofilin, an actin depolymerizing factor, disrupted both sarcomere structure and muscle function.
[Cell Reports]
Balakrishnan, M., Yu, S. F., Chin, S. M., Soffar, D. B., Windner, S. E., Goode, B. L., & Baylies, M. K. (2020). Cofilin Loss in Drosophila Muscles Contributes to Muscle Weakness through Defective Sarcomerogenesis during Muscle Growth. Cell Reports, 32(3). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107893 Cite
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Cytokine-Induced Molecular Responses in Airway Smooth Muscle Cells Inform Genome-Wide Association Studies of Asthma

The authors revealed significant response differences between airway smooth muscle cells from asthma cases and controls, including genes implicated in asthma susceptibility.
[Genome Medicine]
Thompson, E. E., Dang, Q., Mitchell-Handley, B., Rajendran, K., Ram-Mohan, S., Solway, J., Ober, C., & Krishnan, R. (2020). Cytokine-induced molecular responses in airway smooth muscle cells inform genome-wide association studies of asthma. Genome Medicine, 12(1), 64. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13073-020-00759-w Cite
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