A new wave of myostatin drugs in or nearing clinical-stage testing could make a significant impact on the ability to build muscle in elderly patients or in individuals suffering muscle-wasting diseases. An article in the Wall Street Journal reports Hester Plumridge and Marta Falconi describe the progress being made by several drug companies interested in refining myostatins for human use. The drugs are designed to block the production or detection of myostatin, which is a protein that slows muscle growth.

A news release from the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) reports that researchers believe that myostatin drugs could counter sarcopenia in addition to muscle-wasting diseases, such as sporadic inclusion-body myositis and muscle loss related to chronic illness. Earlier versions of myostatins were attempted in the late 2000s as a treatment for muscular dystrophy but were discontinued after reports of unexplained gum and nose bleeding.

The Wall Street Journal article reports that the new wave of myostatin drugs “work in a slightly different way.” To view the full article, visit:  http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303978304579475133079434084?.

Sources: Wall Street Journal, APTA