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Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD)

Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) is a group of genetically heterogeneous, autosomal inherited muscular dystrophies with a childhood to adult onset, manifesting with hip- and shoulder-girdle muscle weakness.

LGMD is currently defined by the following criteria:
  • Progressive weakness and wasting of hip or shoulder-girdle muscles.
  • Onset after 2 years of life.
  • Varying degrees of creatine kinase (CK) elevation, ranging from normal to markedly elevated.
  • Variable pathologic findings, ranging from nonspecific myopathic changes to dystrophic features.
  • There are over 35 identified genetic variations or subtypes of LGMD, with different phenotypic expression, muscular and clinical involvement.

LGMD2A is an autosomal recessive subtype of LGMD caused by mutations of the Calpain-3 (CAPN3) gene, which codes a non lysosomal Ca2+ protease.  LGMD2A is one of the most common LGMD subtypes. CAPN-3 belongs to a large family of proteases and is expressed specifically in skeletal muscle.

Muscles affected by LGMD2A

Clinical presentation in LGMD2A is most often associated with progressive, symmetrical, predominantly proximal muscle weakness, with age of onset between 8 and 16 years. It typically begins in the pelvic girdle, with involvement of hip adductors and gluteus maximus, manifesting as problems running, climbing stairs, or standing up from a chair.

The lower limb girdle muscles are most severely affected, although some patients do have initial or simultaneous presentation in the shoulder girdle. Clinical complaints about shoulder girdle and upper limb weakness appear later in the disease course. Patients are typically wheelchair-bound before 35 years of age or after no more than 25 years of progression.

Current diagnosis involves the combination of identification of the clinical signs and symptoms consistent with the known disease expression, in vitro diagnostic testing, physiologic testing, imaging, and genetic analysis.

Genetic testing can identify specific subtypes and confirm diagnoses in approximately 75% of LGMDs. Currently there are no drugs or biological products specifically indicated for use in LGMD, or LGMD2A, with no disease-modifying treatments available.

Management of LGMD2A is guided by well-defined clinical parameters and genetic diagnosis, with the objective of improving quality of life and, in the case of the uncommon cardiac and respiratory involvement, prolong life.

Clinical Trials

Vita Therapeutics is currently recruiting 3 patients to evaluate their potential to participate in a First-In-Human (FIH) Clinical Trial of VTA-100.

Volunteers for Research Evaluation:
Patients must be between the ages of 18 and 65 with a clinical and genetic diagnosis of LGMD2A and be able to meet the inclusion criteria listed below detailing the FIH Clinical Trial. Each selected patient is only required to complete a blood draw.

After this, tests will be performed to evaluate the individual’s potential to access the FIH clinical trial. If selected, patients will have the option to enroll into this future clinical trial.

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If you are interested in participating in this research evaluation, please email us at