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.
The FRAXA Drug Validation Initiative (FRAX-DVI) provides speedy, cost-effective, objective testing of potential new fragile X treatments. FRAXA has funded FRAX-DVI for $50,000 in 2017.
Over the past few years, both Novartis and Roche sponsored large-scale clinical trials of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGlu5) negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) to treat fragile X syndrome (FXS). With a $90,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation in 2015-2017, Dr. Mark Bear’s team will explore if mGlu5 NAMs dosed chronically causes tolerance, and if so, how it develops and to probe new avenues to prevent or circumvent it.
With a $90,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation funded during 2014-2015, Dr. Frank Kooy and colleagues at the University of Antwerp are conducting a double blind crossover trial of ganaxolone in patients with fragile X syndrome. Results of this study were mixed (see Marinus: Results from Phase 2 Exploratory Clinical Study Support Continued Development of Ganaxolone in Fragile X Syndrome.
With a $60,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation in 2015 that was renewed in 2016, Dr. Eric Klann of New York University will research biomarkers in fraile X syndrome and how to translate these markers from mouse models to human patients.
With a 2015-2016 $90,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation, Dr. Herve Moine and Dr. Andrea Geoffroy aim to uncover the exact role of FMRP and to test a novel possible means to correct for FMRP absence in the mouse model of fragile X syndrome.
With a $90,000 grant from the FRAXA Research Foundation from 2015-2016, Dr. Laurie Doering and Dr. Angela Scott at McMasters University studied astrocytes in fragile X. Astrocytes, brain cells which support neurons, do not transmit signals. Several treatment strategies for fragile X have been proposed based on correction of “astrocyte phenotypes”.
With $366,100 in grants from FRAXA Research Foundation, these investigators at the University of Orleans studied sensory abnormalities in fragile X mice and test the ability of a class of drugs, BK channel openers, to rescue these abnormalities.
With $375,000 in grants from the FRAXA Research Foundation since 2009, Dr. David Nelson has developed an impressive array of advanced mouse models of fragile X, at Baylor College of Medicine. These models are available to investigators worldwide on request. This resource has been essential for a broad, rapid distribution of fragile X and related gene mouse models and has increased the pace of fragile X research.
With a $90,000 grant from FRAXA Research Foundation in 2015-2016, Dr. Mollie Meffert and Dr. Christina Timmerman at Johns Hopkins University studied groups of small RNAs, known as microRNAs, which are greatly decreased in brain tissue of fragile X mice vs. normal controls.
With a $90,000 grant from the FRAXA Research Foundation, Dr. Lynne Maquat and Dr. Tatsuaki Kurosaki will investigate nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD) in fragile X. NMD is a “housekeeping” process that cells use to prevent faulty proteins from being made. But there is too much of it in fragile X syndrome. There are already available drugs that suppress NMD – including caffeine.
With a $100,000 grant from the FRAXA Research Foundation in 2015, Dr. Peter Vanderklish explored a novel strategy to treat fragile X syndrome: AMPK activators. The good news is that there are FDA approved (for example, metformin) and naturally occurring AMPK activators (such as resveratrol, found in red wine).