FRAXA Biotech Games™ – Broadening the Base for Fragile X Research

FRAXA Biotech Games™ – Broadening the Base for Fragile X Research

We are proud to announce that the First Annual FRAXA Biotech Games™ are coming to Boston in September 2018. This event is a “friendly” competition between leading biotech companies in greater Boston in a series of back yard lawn games including Cornhole, KanJam, Bucketball and Ladder golf. The event will take place on the campus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and funds raised will support a FRAXA fragile X research grant to the lab of Dr. Mark Bear at the MIT Picower Institute.

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Three-Dimensional Model for Identifying Fragile X Treatments

Three-Dimensional Model for Identifying Fragile X Treatments
With a $90,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation awarded in 2018, Dr. Peng Jin and Dr. Juhnee Kang at Emory University will develop and analyze fragile X brain organoids to understand the disorder and identify treatment targets. $90,000 Grant Peng Jin, PhD Principal Investigator Yunhee Kang, PhD FRAXA Postdoctoral Fellow Zhexing Wen, PhD Co-Principal Investigator Emory University School of Medicine 2018 FRAXA Research Grant $90,000 over 2 Years by Peng Jin One of the most exciting recent advancements in stem cell research has been the development of a new model that bridges the gap between mice and humans. Chosen as 2017 Method of the Year by Nature, organoids are tiny, self-organized, three-dimensional tissue cultures grown from stem cells. They can be crafted to model much of the complexity of any organ — even the brain. This new technique affords the opportunity to evaluate potential drug treatments in a model that more closely mimics the humanRead more

Pharmacological Tolerance in the Treatment of Fragile X Syndrome

Pharmacological Tolerance in the Treatment of Fragile X Syndrome

With a $90,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation, Dr. Patrick McCamphill and Dr. Mark Bear at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will further investigate drug tolerance and ways to overcome it. 

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Lincoln Bryant’s FRAXA Campaign

Lincoln Bryant’s FRAXA Campaign

A few months ago we opted to do genetic testing on Lincoln to see if there was an underlying reason for his developmental delays. He was diagnosed with fragile X syndrome. Like so many people when they first get this diagnosis, we were sad and scared for him and his future. I had a lot of confusion and once I got on the internet I was able to find FRAXA Research Foundation and answers to a lot of my questions.

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Lysogene Partners with FRAXA Investigator Dr. Hervé Moine to Develop Gene Therapy for Fragile X

Lysogene Partners with FRAXA Investigator Dr. Hervé Moine to Develop Gene Therapy for Fragile X

A research project funded by FRAXA has led to new fragile x gene therapy initiative, this time in France. Lysogene, a French biopharmaceutical company working to develop gene therapy treatments for brain disorders, is partnering with FRAXA Investigator Dr. Herve Moine to tackle fragile X syndrome.

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FRAXA Funded Researchers Present at MA Fragile X Conference

FRAXA Funded Researchers Present at MA Fragile X Conference

On Saturday Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) hosted a fragile X educational conference, Success Strategies for Individuals and Families Impacted by Fragile X and two of our funded researchers, Dr. Craig Erickson, and Carol Wilkinson, MD, PhD, presented giving an update on their current fragile X clinical trials. Both being funded by FRAXA.

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Fragile X Clinical Trial of New PDE4 Inhibitor from Tetra funded by FRAXA

Fragile X Clinical Trial of New PDE4 Inhibitor from Tetra funded by FRAXA

With a $200,043 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation in April 2018, Dr. Elizabeth Berry-Kravis will conduct a Phase 2 clinical trial of a new PDE4 inhibitor from Tetra Discovery Partners in adults with fragile X syndrome.

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Zack Miraglia, 15, of Danvers, MA

Zack Miraglia, 15, of Danvers, MA
#FriendofFRAXAInterestsSwimming, watching/collecting movies, reading books, playing mini golf, playing Wii, and being with his family. ChallengesThe dentist, thunder and other loud noises. Become a #FriendofFRAXAIf you would like to nominate someone as a #FriendofFRAXA, simply email a photo accompanied with age, location, and a few of his or hers interests and challenges to brianne@fraxa.org. We welcome all who have been touched by fragile X, including friends, grandparents, siblings, professionals and companions alike. Andy Tranfaglia: an Adult with Fragile X Syndromeon 13 June 2013Andy Tranfaglia: an Adult with Fragile X Syndromeon 13 June 2013Clark 2013 Campaign raised $10,405on 24 January 2014Clark 2013 Campaign raised $10,405on 24 January 2014Zack Miraglia, 15, of Danvers, MAon 02 April 2018Zack Miraglia, 15, of Danvers, MAon 02 April 2018Read more

Takeaways from Fragile X Advocacy Day

Takeaways from Fragile X Advocacy Day

In the first week of March I attended my first Fragile X Advocacy Day to meet with many of the Massachusetts delegation to Congress. While this was my first time advocating for fragile X research, I’ve been a longtime lung cancer research advocate and have met with many of the same representatives in the past. It was a pleasure to meet with many of the families as my participation in Advocacy Day was in the spirit of “we are all in this together”.

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Reintroducing FMRP to Reduce Symptoms of Fragile X Syndrome

Reintroducing FMRP to Reduce Symptoms of Fragile X Syndrome

FRAXA Research Foundation and the Fragile X Research Foundation of Canada have awarded a grant of $100,000 over two years to Dr. Raymond Turner at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. Dr. Turner and postdoctoral fellow Xiaoqin Zhan, PhD are attempting to reactivate a segment of FMRP to reverse symptoms of fragile X in a mouse model of the disease to reduce abnormal behaviors.

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FRAXA Research Grants Drive Big Investments in Fragile X

FRAXA Research Grants Drive Big Investments in Fragile X

Most people know that FRAXA supports academic research at many institutions such as Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Yale University. However, FRAXA is also working with more than 30 pharmaceutical companies around the world. Mike spends a lot of his time advising and collaborating with industry partners.

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Now Recruiting: Clinical Study of EEG for Young Boys at Boston Children’s Hospital

Now Recruiting: Clinical Study of EEG for Young Boys at Boston Children’s Hospital

Dr. Carol Wilkinson, MD PhD, and Dr. Charles Nelson, PhD, at the Labs of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children’s Hospital are recruiting young boys with fragile X syndrome (FXS) to participate in a study investigating how differences in brain activity affect learning, language, and behavior in FXS. If we can determine what distinguishes one brain from another, and if a drug works with a particular neural marker or set of neural markers, this would permit matching drugs based on objective biological markers, a personalized medicine, rather than defaulting to the current method of trial and error.

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Neural Markers of Cognitive, Language and Behavioral Deficits in Children with Fragile X

Neural Markers of Cognitive, Language and Behavioral Deficits in Children with Fragile X

This 2017 grant of $90,000 over two years will enable Dr. Wilkinson to launch a study of EEG in young children with fragile X syndrome at Boston’s Children’s Hospital.  She will work with principal investigator, Dr. Charles Nelson, who is a Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a specialist in cognitive neuroscience. Co-funded by the Autism Science Foundation and the Pierce Family Fragile X Foundation.

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NIH Request for Feedback on Fragile X Research Plan

NIH Request for Feedback on Fragile X Research Plan

The NIH is updating a Research Plan for fragile X syndrome and the associated disorders of FXTAS (fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome) and FXPOI (fragile X-associated primary ovarian insufficiency) that was originally created in 2009 by experts convened by the them. FRAXA team members were part of these working groups, giving guidance on priority areas and most promising research directions and will be once again. The NIH is requesting input from families and other members of the fragile X community.

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Fragile X Conference at Boston Children’s Hospital

Fragile X Conference at Boston Children’s Hospital

FRAXA and the Pierce Foundation are partners with Boston Children’s Hospital’s Fragile X Program and are pleased to help bring this important fragile X conference to the greater Boston community. Two FRAXA-supported researchers, Dr. Craig Erickson from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Dr. Carol Wilkinson from Boston Children’s Hospital will present their current work.

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Repurposing Study II: Evaluating Combinations of Drugs to Treat Fragile X

Repurposing Study II: Evaluating Combinations of Drugs to Treat Fragile X

FRAXA Research Foundation initially partnered with Healx in 2016 to identify existing drugs with potential to treat fragile X syndrome, using machine learning algorithms and computational biology.  The study produced results, and now FRAXA and Healx have launched a new round of studies to evaluate combinations of compounds, including both drugs and natural products.

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Impact of the Fragile X Community

Impact of the Fragile X Community

At FRAXA Research Foundation, we are truly grateful for our fragile X community and thousands of donors. We couldn’t keep moving the ball forward in research without your support. Each year FRAXA invests over $1 million in fragile X research thanks to your support. Because we supported these three researchers, we were able to secure another $35 million in research aimed at identifying clinical trial outcome measures that will lead to human trials of promising treatments for those affected by fragile X.

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FX-LEARN – Clinical Trial for Language Learning of AFQ056 in Children

FX-LEARN – Clinical Trial for Language Learning of AFQ056 in Children

The purpose of this NeuroNEXT study is to find out if the drug AFQ056, made by the pharmaceutical company Novartis, is safe and has beneficial effects on language learning in children who have fragile X syndrome (FXS). The study also aims to find out if a structured language intervention can help children with fragile X syndrome communicate better.

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Fragile X Clinical Trial of AZD7325 in Adults

Fragile X Clinical Trial of AZD7325 in Adults

With a $51,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation, Dr. Craig Erickson will conduct a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of AZD7325 in adults with fragile X syndrome at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.  The compound being studied is an investigational new drug from AstraZeneca that targets GABA (A) receptors.

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FRAXA Annual Appeal Raised $760,000

FRAXA Annual Appeal Raised $760,000
Thanks to your generous support, we surpassed our annual appeal goal of $600,000 and are one step closer to finding effective treatments and, ultimately, a cure for fragile X syndrome. From November 6 to December 31, collectively we raised over $760,000 from over 1,000 donors! This means we will also receive the matching gift of $600,000 from the Sunshine Lady Foundation!  We’d like to express our sincere gratitude to all of our donors who generously gave to FRAXA Research Foundation in 2017 and look forward to continuing the promising translational fragile X research momentum in 2018. Our next round of research proposals will be coming in February, and we’re so excited to fund more cutting-edge research. We couldn’t do this without your support. We have an incredible community of families and friends. We are truly grateful for all. We are all in this together.Read more

Novel Modulators of Potassium Channels to Treat Fragile X

Novel Modulators of Potassium Channels to Treat Fragile X

With previous funding from FRAXA, the Yale University team of Leonard Kaczmarek, PhD showed that loss of FMRP leads to an increased Kv3.1 potassium currents and decreased Slack potassium currents in neurons. Both of these changes impair timing of action potentials in auditory neurons (and likely others throughout the brain). The team also found that the firing pattern of neurons in response to repeated stimulation is severely abnormal in fragile X mice. Based on these results, they are collaborating with the UK-based company Autifony to develop and test advanced compounds which may reverse these deficits.

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CRISPR Reactivation of the Fragile X Gene

CRISPR Reactivation of the Fragile X Gene

“We are trying to target the first event that goes wrong in fragile X syndrome”, says Todd, “One reason our previous attempts to develop treatments for fragile X syndrome have failed is that they’ve tried to target the downstream effects of losing the fragile X protein. The protein does many things… bypassing all the functions that it normally takes care of has proven difficult from a pharmacologic perspective.”

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$17,469 Raised by Friends of FRAXA Volunteers at Bruins Game

$17,469 Raised by Friends of FRAXA Volunteers at Bruins Game

Over 50 #FriendsofFRAXA showed up on the the day after Thanksgiving, November 24, at the Bruins game against the Pittsburgh Penguins to sell 50/50 raffle tickets. Our amazing volunteers sold $34,938 in tickets resulting in $17,469 donated to FRAXA research. This was the highest amount the Bruins sold this year in raffle tickets!

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