Recent studies in autism have shown the effectiveness of STX209, a drug which is chemically similar to Baclofen in the treatment of autism. It is 10 times more potent than Baclofen and target the same Gaba receptor. Not available to the public until at least 2013 it give hope for the treatment of autism and possibly addiction. The involvement of the Gaba B receptor and the use of Baclofen to treat autism highlights the significance of the Gaba B receptor in understanding the underlying causes of addiction.
Results of the study were published in Healthland.Time.com on 1 December 2010.
Hoffman-La Roche Ltd began trials of arbaclofen but then decided not to proceed with them and have issued the following statement:
Roche position on the decision not to exercise the option for Seaside Therapeutics’ compound arbaclofen for autism and fragile X
In recent weeks, Roche has received numerous letters from parents and patient advocates regarding the discontinuation of our collaboration with Seaside Therapeutics on the compound arbaclofen for autism and fragile X. While Roche neither owns nor develops arbaclofen, the questions raised in the letters we have received are very important to us. We therefore want to ensure that our position and the reasons for our decision not to exercise the option to license arbaclofen are clearly understood.
We take very seriously the concerns of all the patients, in this particular case those of parents for their children enrolled in clinical trials with arbaclofen. No parent ever wants to see their children suffer and will do whatever is needed to ensure their safety, health and well-being.
Roche had hoped for a much different outcome, one that would show a clear benefit for those patients affected with these disorders and their families. In the case of the Seaside Therapeutics trials, we regret that the clinical data collected in the autism and fragile X trials did not show the benefit we had hoped for. While it may appear that some patients had a favourable response to this experimental compound, this did not appear to be the case when we looked at the clinical trial results in their entirety.1
While Roche is not continuing its support for Seaside’s development of arbaclofen, it is important to note that Roche is currently one of only a few companies committed to finding innovative treatment options for individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions such as autism, fragile X and Down syndrome. Indeed, we continue to investigate three compounds in clinical trials, V1A (RG7314) for autism, mGluR5 (RG7090) for fragile X and GABA-A a5 (RG1662) for Down syndrome. More information on these trials can be accessed via www.roche-trials.com and www.clinicaltrials.gov.2
Roche wants to reassure all patients, parents and patient advocates that our company understands the urgent need for effective treatment options for neurodevelopmental conditions and that our scientists are working tirelessly to discover and develop such treatment options.
1) For detailed questions on the study results, please contact the sponsor and owner of the results Seaside Therapeutics directly(http://www.seasidetherapeutics.com/contact-us).
2) Autism trial: http://www.roche-trials.com/trialDetailsGet.action?studyNumber=BP28420
Fragile X trials: http://www.roche-trials.com/trialDetailsGet.action?studyNumber=NP27936 and http://www.roche-trials.com/trialDetailsGet.action?studyNumber=NP28571