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iMM Joins the MAGIC Consortium to Advance Research on Muscular Dystrophies


3D model of human-derrived muscle

Cure CMD is among four patient-advocacy organizations, nine academic institutions, and four biotech companies comprising the MAGIC consortium of multidisciplinary researchers developing therapies for Collagen 6-Related Dystrophies among its neuromuscular condition targets. The team's objectives include the development of humanized muscle models, precision gene therapies, and exploring gene editing strategies for neuromuscular disorders, all with a patient-centric approach. You can follow MAGIC on X, Linkedin and YouTube.


Lisboa, Portugal – The MAGIC Consortium is proud to announce the participation of Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM) in the MAGIC Project. This expansion is supported through the HORIZON-WIDERA-2023-ACCESS call that aims to widen participation and strengthen the European Research Area.

The mission of iMM is to foster basic, clinical, and translational biomedical research with the aim of contributing to a better understanding of disease mechanisms, developing novel predictive tests, improving diagnostic tools, and creating new therapeutic approaches. Located on the campus of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon, iMM is a Laboratory Associated with the National Ministry of Science and Higher Education. It is primarily supported by national public funds, European Union funds, competitive grants, private donations, and industrial partnerships.

Founded in 2002, iMM is part of the Academic Medical Centre of Lisbon, a consortium that includes the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon and the Hospital Santa Maria, the largest hospital in Portugal. This consortium aims to develop an integrated approach to medicine, promoting cross-disciplinary biomedical research in both academic laboratories and clinical practice.

iMM's Role in the MAGIC Project

The Gomes group and iMM will exert a significant impact on MAGIC by introducing a novel scale to the project, adding a cellular perspective to the muscle-on-chip technologies it aims to develop. This will provide unparalleled temporal and spatial resolution, greatly enhancing MAGIC ability to characterize disease-specific muscle-on-chip models. Gomes will also expand MAGIC by establishing two additional disease models of centronuclear myopathies, that will broaden the impact on the development of genetic therapies with benefit to clinical care and society. This ambitious project will greatly improve muscle-on-chip disease models, expanding our knowledge and abilities in this critical area of research.

About the MAGIC Project

The MAGIC Project aims to revolutionize the study and treatment of neuromuscular diseases, particularly muscular dystrophies, through several innovative approaches. These include creating precise humanized muscle models, developing targeted gene therapy and genome editing strategies, and engineering disease-specific muscle-on-chip devices. Additionally, the project focuses on designing advanced gene therapy vectors, exploring novel gene editing techniques for specific mutations, and collaborating with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to facilitate the translation of research into practical applications. A patient-centric approach is maintained through close collaboration with patient advocacy groups to ensure that the research directly benefits those affected by these conditions.

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