FMR1 Renamed to Fragile X Messenger Ribonucleoprotein 1

FMR1 Renamed to Fragile X Messenger Ribonucleoprotein 1

The efforts of the European Fragile X Network (EFXN) have led to the renaming of the FMR1 gene to “Fragile X Messenger Ribonucleoprotein 1” gene and the Fragile X protein, FMRP, to “Fragile X Messenger Ribonucleoprotein.” Families around the globe are celebrating the news as a significant step forward for acceptance and the removal of a term that evokes many negative feelings.

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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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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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Tetra’s Fragile X Clinical Trial – The Most Successful So Far

Tetra’s Fragile X Clinical Trial – The Most Successful So Far

Dr. Mark Gurney, CEO of Tetra Therapeutics, discusses how one of the earliest clues to the biology of Fragile X led to the most successful Fragile X clinical trial to date. FRAXA and Tetra began working together after a key FRAXA-funded study caught the attention of Dr. Gurney. Through the FRAXA Drug Validation Initiative, Dr. Patricia Cogram was able to conduct preclinical validation experiments with Tetra’s lead compound in record time, paving the way for clinical trials.

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Pivotal Phase 3 Trial of Zygel in Severe Fragile X Possible This Year

Pivotal Phase 3 Trial of Zygel in Severe Fragile X Possible This Year

Zynerba Pharmaceuticals reported receiving advice from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the design of an upcoming Phase 3 clinical trial meant to confirm previous trial findings supporting  Zygel as a cannabidiol treatment in a specific subset of Fragile X syndrome patients. The new trial, called RECONNECT, is expected to launch before October, and will mainly enroll children and adolescents with a complete (100%) methylation of FMR1, the gene mutated in Fragile X.

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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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Beneath the Surface of Fragile X Syndrome: Study Sheds Light on What’s Happening in Nerve Cells

Beneath the Surface of Fragile X Syndrome: Study Sheds Light on What’s Happening in Nerve Cells

This FRAXA-funded project has turned up some surprising results. At first, it might seem Kurosaki and Maquat have found yet another cellular process which is malfunctioning in Fragile X. But this finding is intimately related to previous findings of abnormal protein synthesis and misregulated transcription in Fragile X. FMRP (the protein lacking in Fragile X syndrome) is involved in chaperoning messenger RNAs within cells to active sites, and in controlling their translation into many different proteins. Some of these proteins are transcription factors, which feed back to the nucleus to control gene expression.

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Integrating Human and Mouse Studies in Fragile X Syndrome – an NIH Center Approach

Integrating Human and Mouse Studies in Fragile X Syndrome – an NIH Center Approach

Presentations by:
Craig Erickson – Translational medicine and mechanistic studies of brain neurophysiology in Fragile X Syndrome: A NIH Center Overview
Ernest Pedapati – Network Mechanisms, Biomarkers, and Pharmacology of Fragile X Syndrome in Humans
Devin Binder – Network Mechanisms of Neurophysiology and Behavior in mouse models of Fragile X Syndrome
Kimberly Huber – FMRP Regulation of local and long-range neocortical circuits in the mouse: Links with EEG phenotypes

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Towards Understanding the Role of FMRP in Human Brain Development Using Brain Organoids

Towards Understanding the Role of FMRP in Human Brain Development Using Brain Organoids

Dr. Zhexing Wen and Dr. Peng Jin of the newly funded Fragile X Center of Excellence at Emory University School of Medicine join us in this seminar to present about Understanding the Role of FMRP in Human Brain Development Using Brain Organoids.

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Positive Results Reported in Phase II Fragile X Clinical Trial of PDE4D Inhibitor from Tetra Therapeutics

Positive Results Reported in Phase II Fragile X Clinical Trial of PDE4D Inhibitor from Tetra Therapeutics

Today, Tetra Therapeutics announces the first unequivocally positive phase 2 clinical trial in Fragile X syndrome, press release below. The results do not depend on carving out a subset of patients or post hoc analysis.

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Centers for Collaborative Research in Fragile X Receive $25 Million Over Next 5 Years

Centers for Collaborative Research in Fragile X Receive $25 Million Over Next 5 Years

National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced funding for three Centers for Collaborative Research in Fragile X. The centers will receive $25 million over the next 5 years. Funding for the centers comes from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

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Mechanisms and Biomarkers of Sensory Hypersensitivity in the fmr1 Knockout Mouse

Mechanisms and Biomarkers of Sensory Hypersensitivity in the fmr1 Knockout Mouse

In this Fragile X research webinar we hear from Devin K. Binder, MD, PhD, Professor, University of California at Riverside Medical School and Khaleel Razak, PhD, Professor, University of California at Riverside as they present about Mechanisms and Biomarkers of Sensory Hypersensitivity in the fmr1 Knockout Mouse.

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Aripiprazole (Abilify) in the Treatment of People with Fragile X: An Anecdotal Account

Aripiprazole (Abilify) in the Treatment of People with Fragile X: An Anecdotal Account

The aim of this article is to discuss the use of Abilify (generic name: aripiprazole) as a treatment for people with Fragile X syndrome (FXS). As an “off-label” prescription, Abilify targets behaviors such as irritability, aggression, self-injury and severe tantrums.

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Scientists Find a New Way to Reverse Symptoms of Fragile X

Scientists Find a New Way to Reverse Symptoms of Fragile X

FRAXA Investigator and MIT Professor Mark Bear and his colleagues have identified a valuable new target for Fragile X therapeutics: GSK3 alpha. Several FRAXA research teams previously identified GSK3 beta as a treatment target for Fragile X. The catch is that, so far, GSK3 beta inhibitors have proven too toxic for regular use. Dr. Bear’s new discovery opens up the possibility of developing more selective compounds with less toxicity and fewer side effects. Interestingly, lithium inhibits both GSK3 versions – alpha and beta.

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Companies Move to Advance Potential Cognitive Treatment for Fragile X

Companies Move to Advance Potential Cognitive Treatment for Fragile X

Tetra Therapeutics and Shionogi announced plans to expand their partnership supporting BPN14770, a treatment candidate for disorders marked by cognitive and memory deficits, including Fragile X syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease. The agreement builds on an earlier collaboration between the two companies, and aims to further accelerate BPN14770’s development and potential marketing. It is currently in clinical testing in both Fragile X and Alzheimer’s patients.

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Ketogenic Diet Eases Symptoms in Fragile X Male Mice

Ketogenic Diet Eases Symptoms in Fragile X Male Mice

The Westmark laboratory continues to study sleep and rest-activity cycles in Fragile X mice as a potential outcome measure that correlates between preclinical and clinical research. The analysis of sleep EEG in the mice has proven more labor intensive than they anticipated, but the team is collaborating with Dr. Rama Maganti’s laboratory at UW-Madison on the development of computer scrips to speed up the analysis.

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Considering Available Drugs for Fragile X: My Favorite Combination (So Far)

Considering Available Drugs for Fragile X: My Favorite Combination (So Far)

Which of the available drugs are best for fragile X? We tend to think of drugs according to their primary activity in the body, but very few drugs are totally selective and specific. There are differences between drugs in any given class, and these differences may be critical. Most drugs have “off-target” effects which are usually considered side effects, and it is these side effects which can have key advantages, in some cases.

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fNIRS to Measure Treatment Response in Young Children with Fragile X

fNIRS to Measure Treatment Response in Young Children with Fragile X

FRAXA Research Foundation has awarded a $90,000 research grant to Dr. Craig Erickson and Dr. Elizabeth Smith at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital to test functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), in children who have Fragile X syndrome. fNIRS is safe, non-invasive, and easily-tolerated. It uses light sources and sensors on the scalp to build a heat map of the brain in action.

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Results Reported: Using EEG Responses to Sound for Fragile X Drug Discovery

Results Reported: Using EEG Responses to Sound for Fragile X Drug Discovery

Jonathan Lovelace, a FRAXA funded Postdoc at UC Riverside, has made some exciting EEG findings over the past few years studying auditory hypersensitivity in mice and therapeutic drug treatments. A big obstacle in FXS research has been establishing reliable, unbiased, and translation relevant biomarkers that can be used to determine the effectiveness of therapies. One of the most important discoveries they have made is the striking similarity in EEG biomarkers between mice and humans.

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National Institutes of Health Releases Fragile X Strategic Plan

National Institutes of Health Releases Fragile X Strategic Plan

FRAXA Program Coordinator, Elle Skala, and long time FRAXA supporter and previous Board Member, Mary Beth Busby, traveled to the National Institutes of Health earlier this week. The timing of this meeting was perfect because the National Institutes of Health (NIH) just released their long-anticipated Strategic Plan for Fragile X Syndrome, FXTAS, and FXPOI. It will guide federal Fragile X research funding for at least the next five years and open the door for continued funding of the Fragile X Research Centers of Excellence.

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