Myology 2016 – Day 1: 30 years after the discovery of the gene involved in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, myology has become the backbone of therapeutic innovation

Myology 2016, the 5th international congress of myology, organised by AFM-Téléthon, has started yesterday. Throughout this week, over 800 international experts on muscle and its diseases will gather at the Palais des Congrès in Lyon. This event will be the highlight of international myology in 2016, 30 years after the discovery of the gene involved in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, announced in 1986 at the Tours congress, also organized by the Association.

The first day was marked by the opening lecture of the American researcher, Kenneth Fischbeck, one of the signatories of the publication concerning the discovery of the gene involved in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, the first gene discovered in the history of neuromuscular diseases. This identification, made possible thanks to an innovative method called reverse genetics, has been decisive for the whole scientific community.

_DSC3801K. Fischbeck emphasised it:

“The identification of the gene involved in Duchenne muscular dystrophy was a split in the history of human genetics. It marked the beginning of very numerous gene identifications. Over 5,500 are now identified, including 150 for neuromuscular diseases.”

Myology has become the backbone of advanced therapies and is now an essential scientific field.

“30 years ago, 400 researchers went to the symposium in Tours and it was a great success for our Association. Here in Lyon, in 2016, you are over 800 to exchange and discuss for 5 days. The international community of Myology has been extended, strengthened… it is the backbone of therapeutic innovation. Most of the communications of Myology 2016 will focus on innovative therapeutic pathways, on ongoing clinical trials involving hundreds of patients around the world, and even on the first drugs on their way to be authorised on the market. We have undoubtedly entered a new era! And the closer we get to our goal – Cure – the more complex and numerous are the challenges : treating the whole body, bioproduction of the advanced therapies at an industrial scale, obtaining the first authorisation of marketing for those advanced therapies… We are opening the way in numerous fields and the years to come will be decisive.” declared Laurence Tiennot-Herment, president of AFM-Téléthon, during the opening of Myology 2016.

Tomorrow, the first plenary sessions and symposia will begin, starting with the following subject : “Fundamental muscle biology and neuromuscular junction”, particularly addressing the issue of muscle development (myogenesis) and the involvement of stem cells in this mechanism.