Cialis (tadalafil), marketed by Eli Lilly, a global pharmaceutical company headquartered in Indianapolis, IN received Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).  DMD is a rare genetic disease caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene.  It is characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness.  Currently, there is no cure for DMD, nor is there any treatment for its associated complications.  Cialis is a phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitor indicated for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).  A small clinical trial completed last year has shown that PDE5 inhibitors including Cialis and Viagra were able to improve blood flow to the weakened muscles of DMD patients.  Currently, Eli Lilly is conducting a phase III clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of Cialis in DMD patients.

 

References:

http://www.lilly.com/products/human/Pages/Our-Current-Products.aspx
https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01865084?cond=DMD&intr=tadalafil&rank=5&submit_fld_opt