Reactivating the FMR1 Gene to Reverse Fragile X Syndrome

Reactivating the FMR1 Gene to Reverse Fragile X Syndrome

FRAXA has awarded $140,000 to Dr. Jeannie Lee and Dr. Hungoo Lee at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. This team is targeting the root cause of Fragile X syndrome: a silenced single gene, called FMR1.

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Targeting Serotonin 1A Receptors in Fmr1 Knockout Mice

Targeting Serotonin 1A Receptors in Fmr1 Knockout Mice

Dr. Canal has discovered a promising treatment approach for Fragile X syndrome: new compounds which specifically and potently boost serotonin in the brain. The target is the brain’s serotonin 1A receptor.

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Transcriptional Signatures Sensitive to Cognition-Improving Pharmacological Treatments in Fragile X Syndrome

Transcriptional Signatures Sensitive to Cognition-Improving Pharmacological Treatments in Fragile X Syndrome

The Fragile X field needs biomarkers to accurately measure the effects of potential treatments in both Fragile X mice and in humans. Dr. Ozaita and his team have found molecular features in the brain that can serve as an objective signature for the syndrome. They will use this tool to test cannabidiol and two other drugs in mice.

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Characterization and Modulation of microRNAs in Fragile X Syndrome

Characterization and Modulation of microRNAs in Fragile X Syndrome

Could microRNAs be a new path to treatment of Fragile X syndrome? MicroRNAs are disrupted in Fragile X, and so this team will work to understand what is going wrong and explore ways to correct it with drugs which directly target microRNAs.

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Repurposing FDA-Approved Drugs to Treat Major Depressive Disorder in Fragile X Syndrome

Repurposing FDA-Approved Drugs to Treat Major Depressive Disorder in Fragile X Syndrome

Did you know that depression is more common in those with autism and/or Fragile X? Even more disturbing is the discovery that current treatments for depression do not work in Fragile X mice. With this grant, the team will work to develop a rapid screening tool to identify FDA-approved drugs which can treat depression in people with Fragile X syndrome.

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mRNA Therapy for Fragile X Syndrome

mRNA Therapy for Fragile X Syndrome

Dr. Kathryn Whitehead, Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, helped develop the revolutionary science behind the COVID-19 vaccines. With a $103,000 grant from FRAXA, her team will now adapt this technology to deliver the missing Fragile X protein, to treat people who have Fragile X syndrome.

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Recruiting: Clinical Study of Non-Invasive EEG for Children Ages 2-7

Recruiting: Clinical Study of Non-Invasive EEG for Children Ages 2-7

Dr. Carol Wilkinson, MD PhD, and Dr. Charles Nelson, PhD, at Boston Children’s Hospital are recruiting children ages 2-7 years with Fragile X syndrome to participate in a study of brain differences using non-invasive EEG.

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Correcting Fragile X Syndrome Deficits by Targeting Neonatal PKCε Signaling in the Brain

Correcting Fragile X Syndrome Deficits by Targeting Neonatal PKCε Signaling in the Brain

With this $90,000 grant from 2017-2018, Dr. Banerjee’s team has shown that enhancing PKCε can correct brain development and abnormal behaviors in Fragile X knockout mice and had their findings published in PubMed.

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Lovamix: Clinical Trial of Combined Treatment of Minocycline and Lovastatin in Fragile X Syndrome

Lovamix: Clinical Trial of Combined Treatment of Minocycline and Lovastatin in Fragile X Syndrome

With a $66,714 grant from the FRAXA Research Foundation awarded over 2015-2017, Dr. Francois Corbin at the Universite of Sherbrooke will test the safety and synergistic effects of lovastatin and minocycline in patients with Fragile X syndrome.

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Characterization of a Novel CYFIP1 – Derived Peptidomimetic Restoring the Dysregulated mRNAs Translation: Toward An Innovative Therapeutic Strategy for FXS

Characterization of a Novel CYFIP1 – Derived Peptidomimetic Restoring the Dysregulated mRNAs Translation: Toward An Innovative Therapeutic Strategy for FXS

The researchers are developing next-generation drugs called peptidomimetics, using the functional features of FMRP. If they succeed, the hope is that we will have new drugs that could make up for the loss of FMRP, thus treating Fragile X syndrome.

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FX-Learn Clinical Trial for Children with Fragile X

FX-Learn Clinical Trial for Children with Fragile X

Thirteen centers across the US enrolled children with Fragile X in a large-scale clinical trial of Novartis AFQ056. Dr. Elizabeth Berry-Kravis and colleagues aim to show that this targeted treatment — an mGluR5 blocker for Fragile X which failed in previous adult human trials — can be better evaluated by studying effects on learning in young children.

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Cannabinoids as a Treatment for Fragile X Syndrome

Cannabinoids as a Treatment for Fragile X Syndrome

Many people with Fragile X syndrome are hyper-sensitive to sights and sounds, and Electroencephalography (EEG) studies show that there are abnormalities in brain circuits. EEG studies show similar changes in Fragile X mice. So the team will use EEG tests in mice to find which drugs best reduce hypersensitivity. They can then easily move on to human EEG-based clinical trials. What they learn will tell us much more about why people with Fragile X are hypersensitive – and which drugs could best help them.

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New Fragile X Clinical Trial Announced by Healx

New Fragile X Clinical Trial Announced by Healx

Healx’s AI-driven approach makes finding the right combination therapies more efficient, cost-effective, and rapidly ready for testing at FRAXA-DVI. It was this successful process that has brought Healx to its recent announcement sharing that it has received Investigational New Drug (IND) approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Phase 2a clinical study of HLX-0201.

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Purposeful and FRAXA Partnership Leads to Clinical Trial

Purposeful and FRAXA Partnership Leads to Clinical Trial

Can a combination of drugs make a meaningful difference for people with Fragile X? A new clinical trial is going to find out. 15-20 adult men with Fragile X will be included in this upcoming trial, which will test the effects of an available drug and a nutritional supplement taken together.

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Inhibiting Nonsense – Mediated mRNA Decay: A Potential Treatment Approach for Fragile X

Inhibiting Nonsense – Mediated mRNA Decay: A Potential Treatment Approach for Fragile X

All cells have a kind of housecleaning service which sweeps away genetic errors. This is called nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). With a previous FRAXA grant, this team discovered runaway NMD in cells of Fragile X patients. It’s not yet known how this impacts people with Fragile X. With this grant, Dr. Maquat and Dr. Kurosaki will test drugs which can bring NMD back to normal levels.

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Exploring Drug Repurposing to Restore Hippocampal Function in FXS Mouse Models

Exploring Drug Repurposing to Restore Hippocampal Function in FXS Mouse Models

A gene’s job is to produce a protein. In Fragile X syndrome, the FMR1 gene is mutated and cannot make FMRP, a protein which shapes connections between nerve cells (neurons) in the brain. These connections are the basis of learning and memory. This team has discovered a mechanism involving FMRP that is absolutely essential to control the connections between neurons. These connections are the basis of learning and memory. They will now test available drugs which directly target this mechanism, to see if they can treat Fragile X syndrome.

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Contribution of Microglia to the Therapeutic Effects of Metformin and Adiponectin in Fragile X Syndrome

Contribution of Microglia to the Therapeutic Effects of Metformin and Adiponectin in Fragile X Syndrome

The research team of Brian Christie, PhD and Marie-Eve Tremblay is developing ways to balance hormones, including drugs like metformin and changes in diet, which could not only reduce hunger and obesity, but ultimately also improve learning and behavior in Fragile X syndrome.

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Alternative Splicing in White Blood Cells: A Biomarker for Fragile X Syndrome

Alternative Splicing in White Blood Cells: A Biomarker for Fragile X Syndrome

The Pierce Family Fragile X Foundation helping to fund a joint grant to the University of Massachusetts Medical School and Rush University Medical Center in exploring biomarkers to measure whether a treatment is helping and determine how to optimize treatment for each individual.

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Link Between Lipid Profile, eCBome System and Gut Microbiome in Fragile X Syndrome

Link Between Lipid Profile, eCBome System and Gut Microbiome in Fragile X Syndrome

Why does obesity challenge so many people with Fragile X? Dr. Caku’s team thinks changes in the gut are the culprit. This team has found that Fragile X syndrome causes changes in the tiny organisms that live in our gut. They believe that these abnormalities cause changes in the brain which impair learning and behavior.

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Characterization of Microglia Transcriptional Profile in Fmr1 Knockout Mice Model

Characterization of Microglia Transcriptional Profile in Fmr1 Knockout Mice Model

With this grant, the team will identify the pathways responsible for this excessive activation and attempt to reverse the excess. If they can correct this using drugs, they will be able to identify a new potential treatment for Fragile X solving one more piece of the Fragile X brain puzzle.

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The Role of Astrocyte BMP Signaling in Fragile X Syndrome

The Role of Astrocyte BMP Signaling in Fragile X Syndrome

Astrocytes are star-shaped cells that make up one fifth of all cells in the human brain. Recently researchers found a specific pathway in astrocytes that is overactive in Fragile X syndrome, and they hope to bring this pathway back to normal with a drug. With this grant, the team will try to correct the pathway in Fragile X mice. The hope is that they will find a new potential treatment approach for Fragile X syndrome.

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Identifying Cellular and Molecular Signatures in Human Neurons That Distinguish Fragile X Syndrome Patients with Divergent EEG Profiles

Identifying Cellular and Molecular Signatures in Human Neurons That Distinguish Fragile X Syndrome Patients with Divergent EEG Profiles

Why is it so hard to find the right medications to help people with Fragile X? Just as Fragile X affects individuals differently, medications do as well. This project aims to bring personalized medicine to Fragile X syndrome.

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Drug Tolerance in MGluR5 Clinical Trials – Dr Patrick McCamphill 1:1 with FRAXA

Drug Tolerance in MGluR5 Clinical Trials – Dr Patrick McCamphill 1:1 with FRAXA

We have long suspected that the clinical trials of mGluR5 blockers from Novartis and Roche failed because the drug triggered tolerance, losing effect over time. With a $90,000 grant from FRAXA, Dr. Patrick McCamphill, a Postdoctoral Fellow in the MIT lab of Dr. Mark Bear, is investigating. He does indeed find tolerance, and now he is looking for ways to overcome it.

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FRAXA Drug Validation Initiative (FRAXA-DVI)

FRAXA Drug Validation Initiative (FRAXA-DVI)

The FRAXA Drug Validation Initiative (FRAXA-DVI) provides speedy, cost-effective, objective preclinical testing of potential Fragile X treatments. FRAXA-DVI uses in-vitro systems, behavior batteries, and gene expression and peripheral biomarker platforms to validate investigational new drugs and repurposed available compounds in Fragile X syndrome (FXS).

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