25 November 2015

Singel Swim Utrecht marks start pilot study Hubrecht Institute

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More than € 97.000 for research of FSHD muscle disorder

November 25, 2015
Yesterday evening the Chairman of Stichting Singel Swim Utrecht, Eric van Beek, together with Sten Weingärtner, project manager of Stichting Spieren voor Spieren and Robert Staartjes, boardmember of Stichting FSHD, handed a check of € 97.093 to prof. dr. Niels Geijsen of the Hubrecht Institute. This check represents donations collected by the more than 160 participants of the first edition of the Singel Swim Utrecht last June. This marks the start of the pilot study to investigate whether a new gene correction method can ‘disable’ a bad gene in the muscle cells of people with FSHD.

On June 14 2015 more than 160 participants wrote history by being the first to swim in the Utrecht Singel for a good cause: more research into the progressive muscle disease FSHD. “With the collected donations from the swimmers, we can take a historic first step towards a possible solution for people with FSHD muscle disorder”, says prof. dr. Niels Geijsen of the Hubrecht Institute. Together with prof. dr. Silvère van der Maarel (Leiden) they conduct a pilot study to examine whether the new gene correction method can be used to switch off the DUX4 gene in FSHD muscle cells. Eric van Beek, Stichting Singel Swim Utrecht, is very proud. “In every way it is a fantastic performance of the participants, both in sports and in fundraising.” The donation of the Singel Swim Utrecht for this pilot study is of enormous importance. Stichting Singel Swim Utrecht, Stichting FSHD and Stichting Spieren voor Spieren have therefore decided to follow up this revolutionary study of the Hubrecht Institute with a second edition of the Singel Swim Utrecht on Sunday, June 19th, 2016. This brings the development of a new therapeutic approach to genetic muscle diseases even more within reach.