A potential treatment for the most common form of autism is on its way to human trials after it was proven successful in mice.
Drug developer Tetra Discovery Partners has received clearance from the FDA to begin phase two of their testing for a treatment called BPN14770.
The therapeutic agent could be used to treat Fragile X syndrome: a genetic form of autism that reportedly affects 1 in 4,000 to 5,000 males and one in 6,000 to 8,000 females. There is currently no treatment for the condition.
BPN14770, which could also be used to treat Alzheimer’s and other forms of autism, showed a number of benefits during the initial tests. Mice that were given the drug experienced reduced stress and improved mental development, memory function, and social behavior. Elderly human study participants who were given the drug during phase one also experienced “excellent safety” with the medication and improved cognitive performance.
If testing continues to show positive results, the drug could become available to the public in less than four years.
“We’re hoping that this drug will have significant impact on the quality of patients’ lives,” said Tetra Chairman and CEO Mark Gurney, according to Wood TV.
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