AVI BioPharma and Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy Team Up to Run Seattle Marathon & Raise Money to End Duchenne

Jun 20, 2012, 14:42 ET from Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy

HACKENSACK, N.J., June 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AVI BioPharma is teaming up with Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD)'s endurance program, Run For Our Sons, to participate in the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon & Half Marathon on June 23, 2012. The goal is to raise money and awareness to help end Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Duchenne), the most common form of muscular dystrophy.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100119/DC39975LOGO)

AVI and PPMD have a long history of working together to develop treatments that may help to prolong the lives of those living with Duchenne.

"PPMD has always been grateful to the dedication AVI has shown to the Duchenne community as they continue to work on treatments that will help our sons live longer, stronger lives," said Pat Furlong, PPMD's President & Founder. "Now they are taking that dedication a step further by lacing up their running shoes and pounding the streets of Seattle to help raise awareness and end Duchenne."

Participating alongside the AVI team are 20 other runners, including Conrad Reynoldson, a 25-year-old man living with Duchenne. Conrad is the only person to have participated in the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon & Half Marathon in a power wheelchair, and 2012 will mark his second year competing in the race.

"I am always looking for new and innovative ways to raise awareness and funds for PPMD as well as the broader disability community," said Conrad. "Last year when I heard that no one in a power chair had ever participated in this race, I realized this was a perfect opportunity."

The Run For Our Sons team fundraising goal for the Rock 'n' Roll Seattle Marathon & Half Marathon is $25,000.

"Perhaps over time Run For Our Sons can become Run With Our Sons as more of us adults and young men with Duchenne take charge of our futures," said Conrad.

Run For Our Sons began in 2005 with 80 runners at the Walt Disney World Marathon.  Since then the program has grown to encompass most major marathons around the country, with hundreds of runners participating each year. Since its founding, the Run For Our Sons program has raised more than $6 million to fund PPMD's work.  For more information, visit www.RunForOurSons.org.

About AVI BioPharma
AVI BioPharma is focused on the discovery and development of novel RNA-based therapeutics for rare and infectious diseases, as well as other select disease targets. Applying pioneering technologies developed and optimized by AVI, the Company is able to target a broad range of diseases and disorders through distinct RNA-based mechanisms of action. Unlike other RNA-based approaches, AVI's technologies can be used to directly target both messenger RNA (mRNA) and precursor messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) to either down-regulate (inhibit) or up-regulate (promote) the expression of targeted genes or proteins.  By leveraging its highly differentiated RNA-based technology platform, AVI has built a pipeline of potentially transformative therapeutic agents, including eteplirsen, which is in clinical development for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and multiple drug candidates that are in clinical development for the treatment of infectious disease. For more information, please visit www.avibio.com.

About Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy
Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1994 by parents of children with Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy.  Our mission is to end Duchenne. We accelerate research, raise our voices in Washington, demand optimal care for all young men, and educate the global community. PPMD is headquartered in Middletown, Ohio with offices in Hackensack, New Jersey.  For more information, visit www.ParentProjectMD.org.

SOURCE Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy