Nashville, Tenn. (June 22, 2017) – A collaborative group of parent-driven organizations seeking a cure for Angelman syndrome has teamed up with F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, (Roche), one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies, in the first phase of a study that will support the design of human clinical trials and treatment development for the disorder.
Roche has committed funding to create an Angelman syndrome conceptual model. Roche as a leader in personalized healthcare is taking a patient-centered approach to drug and treatment development.
According to Roche, the first phase of the study aims to better understand the impact of Angelman syndrome on patients and their families through interviews with caregivers and physicians around the world.
“The findings of this research will be a key step towards identifying and developing the best outcome measures and biomarkers for future clinical trials,” says Dr. Tom Willgoss, principal scientist, Roche.
The study signals a new movement into the human testing phase of possible drug and therapy development for Angelman syndrome.
“To have such a cutting-edge biotech giant join all of us in the quest for a treatment and cure for Angelman syndrome is a very hopeful sign of significant movement for our families who struggle with the impact of this disorder,” says Dr. Allyson Berent, DVM, DACVIM, chief science officer for FAST (Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics).
Dr. Stormy Chamberlain, chair of the scientific advisory committee for the Angelman Syndrome Foundation (ASF), agreed that this next phase of development in Angelman research takes a critical step in matching the needs of patients with Angelman syndrome to possible treatment and measurement strategies.
“We are all working together to determine the needs of families with Angelman syndrome in terms of new treatments and medications,” says Chamberlain.
FAST and ASF joined efforts with Agilis Biotherapeutics to create the Angelman Biomarkers and Outcome Measures Alliance (A-BOM) in 2016. The alliance of foundations and biopharmaceutical firms works to help researchers identify the best ways to measure clinical progress in Angelman syndrome in an effort to design better trials to test the effectiveness of new experimental treatments. A-BOM is encouraging the families, caregivers and physicians of Angelman syndrome patients to participate in this effort by joining the Angelman registry. The registry assists researchers in collecting strategic information about the disorder from patients and their physicians. The registry can be found online at angelmanregistry.info.
“We need rigorous ways to measure how potential treatments may improve the quality of life for individuals with Angelman syndrome and their families,” says A-BOM’s director, Dr. Terry Jo Bichell. “Roche’s conceptual model will set a standard that will help researchers determine what to measure, how to measure it, and how to interpret their findings when they are trying to identify possible treatments.”
Initial findings for the first phase of the study are expected in 2017. The research team plans to interview the caregivers and clinicians of approximately 33 patients with Angelman syndrome in its sample.
About The Angelman Biomarkers and Outcome Measures Alliance (A-BOM)
The Angelman Biomarkers and Outcome Measures Alliance (A-BOM) is a new group formed by both FAST (Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics) and the Angelman Syndrome Foundation, together with researchers and pharmaceutical corporations to help move new treatments to the clinical trial phase. A-BOM includes scientists, foundations and corporations that are all working together to share in research, studies, trials and stories to help people with Angelman syndrome.