Centers for the screening of biologically active compounds and genomic libraries are becoming common in the academic setting and have enabled researchers devoted to developing strategies for the treatment of diseases or interested in studying a biological phenomenon to have unprecedented access to libraries that, until few years ago, were accessible only by pharmaceutical companies. As a result, new drugs and genetic targets have now been identified for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most prominent of the neuromuscular disorders affecting children. Although the work is still at an early stage, the results obtained to date are encouraging and demonstrate the importance that these centers may have in advancing therapeutic strategies for DMD as well as other diseases. This review will provide a summary of the status and progress made toward the development of a cure for this disorder and implementing high-throughput screening (HTS) technologies as the main source of discovery. As more academic institutions are gaining access to HTS as a valuable discovery tool, the identification of new biologically active molecules is likely to grow larger. In addition, the presence in the academic setting of experts in different aspects of the disease will offer the opportunity to develop novel assays capable of identifying new targets to be pursued as potential therapeutic options. These assays will represent an excellent source to be used by pharmaceutical companies for the screening of larger libraries providing the opportunity to establish strong collaborations between the private and academic sectors and maximizing the chances of bringing into the clinic new drugs for the treatment of DMD.
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