In 1997, scientist Se-Jin Lee genetically engineered “Mighty Mice” with twice as much muscle as regular rodents. Now, pharmaceutical companies are using his discovery to make drugs that could help elderly patients walk again and rebuild muscle in a range of diseases.
“I am very optimistic about these new drugs,” says Dr. Lee, a professor of molecular biology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, who isn’t involved in any of the drug trials.
“The fact that they’re so far along means to me they must have seen effects.”
Myostatin is a naturally occurring protein that curbs muscle growth. The drugs act by blocking it, or blocking the sites where it is detected in the body, potentially rebuilding muscle.
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