Cure SMA and Cytokinetics have extended a partnership helping to heighten spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) education, awareness and fundraising, and t0 direct public policy in addressing community needs.

To that end, the biopharmaceutical company will again be a National Gold Sponsor of some upcoming Cure SMA efforts in the United States.

“We continue to recognize the needs of those with SMA and are proud of our longstanding commitment to support the priorities of Cure SMA,” Robert Blum, president and CEO of Cytokinetics, said in a press release. “Through our shared objectives, this partnership reflects one of the many ways Cytokinetics works to amplify patient voice through collaborative community engagement.”

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As part of this effort, Cytokinetics will be among the sponsors of Cure SMA’s virtual Northern California Walk-n-Roll, set for Sept. 18, a fundraiser for CureSMA research awards and family support programs. Participants may register themselves or their family, or create their own team, and begin fundraising. So far this year, more than $42,000 has been raised toward the event’s $120,000 goal.

The company will also help to sponsor December’s Annual Hope on the Hill Congressional Dinner, which brings together SMA families, government officials, and industry leaders from across the country to raise awareness of SMA and the community’s needs, and to celebrate advances in research, treatment, and patient care.

Cytokinetics has long been a platinum sponsor at Cure SMA’s 2019 Annual SMA Conference, and of its Concert for a Cure — another Northern California event. It has also supported previous Walk-n-Rolls in the region. These efforts are reported to have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of SMA patients and their families.

“Cytokinetics’ continued support of Cure SMA has been immensely valuable, especially over the last 18 months as we advanced our goals and activities in a new, virtual setting,” said Kenneth Hobby, president of Cure SMA.

“Among the SMA community, there remains a large gap in access to care and support, and we appreciate our collaborative partnership with Cytokinetics to help facilitate various initiatives aimed at promoting awareness of appropriate care in the broader community, which will help improve and expand access,” Hobby added.

Cytokinetics, in collaboration with Astellas Pharma, is developing oral reldesemtiv (formerly CK-2127107), as an SMA treatment candidate to improve muscle function and physical performance in people with the disease.

Reldesemtiv showed promise in a Phase 2 hypothesis-generating trial (NCT02644668) in 70 adolescents and adults, ages 12 to 72, with SMA types 2 and 3. It is currently being evaluated in a Phase 3 trial, called COURAGE-ALS (NCT04944784), in adults with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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