Joining Forces To Finance a Promising Research Project on OPG

La Force is proud to announce its participation in the funding of a promising research project on osteoprotegerin, also known as “OPG”.

Invited to Boston by the Duchenne Alliance specialists (Duchenne Alliance is an international grouping of 40 foundations), Professor Jérôme Frenette, of the Laval University Rehabilitation Department, recently presented promising work he is doing with his team, based at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec on osteoprotegerin (OPG).

La Force Foundation joined four other foundations, including Ryan’s Quest (USA), Michael’s Cause (USA), Pietro’s Fight (USA), and Save Our Sons(AUS) to help co-fund the start-up phase of this drug development project. Together, our foundations work to identify and support the most promising biomedical research around the world.

What exactly is osteoprotegerin?

OPG is a protein well known for its protective role against osteoporosis, hence its name, osteoprotegerin.

Based in Québec City, the Laval University Faculty of Medicine team recently demonstrated that this protein could well represent a new avenue of treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

It had been observed in the past that there was a link between bone metabolism and that of muscles. For example, muscle atrophy and bone resorption occur in synchronicity in astronauts, as well as people who are bedridden or afflicted with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. No doubt that muscle contractions are important for maintaining bone quality, but the new findings lead researchers to believe that these two physically related tissues could well be controlled in part by the OPG.

The Laval University team was able to demonstrate that daily injections of OPG for a ten-day period had a more than beneficial effect, increasing the strength of contractions by 60 to 230% and significantly reducing structural damage and inflammation in dystrophic mice. The results are all the more encouraging that they do bring about real hopes for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

“If we get the cooperation of a pharmaceutical company, we could move quickly to clinical studies of patients with muscle diseases. “

Dr. Jérôme Frenette

Science is hope!

If there is one thing that it is important to keep in mind and that underscores everything we do at La Force, it’s that hope lies first and foremost in science, that is, in the new treatments currently being developed and the ones to come in the foreseeable future.

Since all your donations are used, in one way or another, to promote or accelerate research and access to drugs, they definitely do contribute to bringing children with Duchenne muscular dystrophy ever closer to a cure.

Professor Frenette and his team were able to demonstrate the validity of their initial assumptions and of the promising research paths they want to take in the short term. This is why we are more than proud to support them. The fact that this research project has its foundations here in Québec, is an additional element of pride for us.

So, as an initial contribution to this project, La Force presented a cheque for $ 5,000 to Laval University, linking its donation to the OPG research project.

See full Le Fil magazine article HERE + Short English version

The Business Journals HERE

Yahoo! Finance HERE

La Force is also very proud to participate in the funding of this project along with four other foundations. Additional financial support is needed to complete the project; foundations or individuals are encouraged to contact La Force if they would like to directly support this project through donations.

Once again… There is strength in unity.



Diseases rarer than February 29th!

Did you know that February is the Rare Disease Month?

And that February 29th, a rare day that only happens four years is International Rare Disease DayRead more

DMD is also a Zebra

Because it manifests itself only rarely, Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) falls within the rare diseases category. It is also a treatment orphan.

Since this is February, it seemed normal for us to tell you about it.

The zebra has been used as a symbol for rare diseases since about 1940. This comes from a quote by Dr. Theodore Woodward: “When you hear the sound of hooves behind you, do not expect to see a zebra”. This is the metaphor Dr. Woodward used to teach students basic concepts about the diagnosis of a disease: when examining a patient’s symptoms, it’s better to think of a horse rather than a zebra. It’s a fact that horses are hoofed animals more commonly encountered than zebras, so you should automatically assume that if you hear the sound of hooves, it should be a horse, not a zebra, right? See: (in French)

Conversely, if we can’t confirm a common disease, it may be because it is a zebra, and continue the research among the approximately 7,000 known rare diseases. This inevitably results in very long diagnosis delays, along with a lot of consequences this entails.

A few distinctions …

A rare disease is defined as a disease that affects less than 1 in 2000 (DMD affects 1 in 3500, which makes it a rare disease).

The RQMO estimates that, in Québec, nearly one in 20 is afflicted by or carrier of a rare disease, for a total of nearly 500,000 Quebecers. Many rare diseases are chronic, progressive and fatal.

Nearly 75% of these diseases affect children and about 80% of them are genetic.

A few examples of rare diseases: cystic fibrosis, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Huntington’s disease, autoimmune myasthenia and Angelman Syndrome.

The term “orphan disease” is often confused with the term “rare disease” because the vast majority of rare diseases are orphans in many ways.

There are approximately 350 orphan drugs for about 7000 rare diseases.

A medical condition is referred to as an orphan disease if there is no treatment for the disease other than treating the symptoms, as is the case for DMD: for example, prednisone is a medication that has an effect on the symptoms but not on the cause of the disease. Read more

The rarity of these diseases creates obstacles and needs for afflicted people both in our health system and in society in general.

The Quebec Coalition for Orphan Diseases (RQMO) works to provide information and support to patients, their families, and healthcare professionals. Their website is full of relevant information both for professionals and caregivers. Being rare, these diseases are often of little interest to researchers and organizations who fund research. The RQMO aims to advance knowledge about the various rare and orphan diseases by promoting exchanges between patients and researchers.

We wish to emphasize that the information contained in this article come mainly from the RQMO website, which can be found at . We thank them.