Tag Archives: clinical trials

Episode 21: Noema, Basimglurant and a New Clinical Trial for Seizures in TSC



In a very special early episode of TSC Now, host Dan Klein recognizes International #EpilepsyDay and the first day of the first-ever Seizure Action Plan Awareness Week. In November, a collaboration of three non-profit organizations, the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance (TS Alliance), the Dravet Syndrome Foundation and the Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome (LGS) Foundation, launched the Seizure Action Plan (SAP) Coalition to educate people with epilepsy, their caregivers and healthcare professionals about seizure emergency rescue protocols and the importance of personalized seizure action plans.  As part of this effort the group is recognizing Seizure Action Plan Awareness Week (#SAPAW2021) to coincide with International Epilepsy Awareness Day on February 8.

This month’s episode is sponsored by Noema Pharma and explores their upcoming clinical trial to treat seizures common in TSC. A Swiss biotech company, Noema, is investigating a novel substance which has shown some positive effects in laboratory models related to tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). The substance is called basimglurant, and it affects the activity of glutamate, an important molecule used by many neurons to communicate with other neurons in the brain, by acting on a receptor for glutamate called mGluR5. The company is setting up clinical trials to test whether the effect seen in the laboratory may also be seen in people.

First, to learn more about basimglurant and preclinical experiments underpinning the upcoming clinical trial, Dan spoke to Ype Elgersma, Professor of Molecular Neuroscience, Head of Research in the Department of Clinical Genetics, and Director of the ENCORE Expertise Center for Neurodevelopment Disorders at the Erasmus Medical Center In The Netherlands; and John Kemp, Chief Scientific Officer at Noema (02:28). They share what metabotropic glutamate receptor 5, or mGluR5, is and how increased activity at mGluR5 may lead to epilepsy; how negative modulators of this overactivity may be used as a treatment for epilepsy in TSC, and how Dr. Mustafa Sahin of Harvard Medical School tested this hypothesis in TSC mouse models. Findings from this study was published in 2018 in Neuropsychopharmacology. 

Next, Dan spoke to Ali Mostajelean, MD, Associate Professor of Neurology, Director of the Epilepsy Service and Tuberous Sclerosis Clinic at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital; and George Garibaldi, Chief Medical Officer at Noema (08:14). They shared how Noema is using the findings in animal models as justification for a clinical trial and share how clinical studies using basimglurant for depression and Fragile X showed that the compound was safe in humans, albeit not as effective as researchers thought it would be in those disease states.

Finally, Dan spoke with Renata Lazarova, VP of Development, Pediatric Programs at Noema, and Steve Roberds, PhD (11:32), to learn what the clinical trial will look like, who can enroll, how Noema will determine whether the drug is efficacious and safe, and where people can find more information once the trial is launched. Steve also talked about our partnership with Noema and how they worked with the TS Alliance early on to solicit feedback from the TSC community and design a trial that both meets the needs of those with TSC and considers the quality of life of those participating.

Noema’s clinical study with their negative modulator of mGluR5 is starting in spring 2020 and will recruit participants across US and Canada, Europe and Australia. For more information including the list of sites participating in the study, please check the TS Alliance website or contact Jo Anne Nakagawa at jnakagawa@tsalliance.org or (301) 562-9890. We will share more information about the trial and how you can enroll on social media, our website and in our E-Newsletter, TSC Matters as it becomes available. Subscribe to TSC Matters to not miss any updates. 

Resources and Links
Learn more about International Epilepsy Day: https://internationalepilepsyday.org/
Learn more about the Seizure Action Plan Coalition and #SAPAW2021: https://seizureactionplans.org/
Read a press release about this new coalition: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-coalition-launches-to-promote-importance-of-seizure-emergency-plans-301164188.html?tc=eml_cleartime
Learn more about epilepsy in TSC: https://www.tsalliance.org/about-tsc/signs-and-symptoms-of-tsc/brain-and-neurological-function/epilepsy-and-seizure-disorders/
Read an abstract of Dr. Sahin’s research looking at mGluR5 Modulation of Behavioral and Epileptic Phenotypes in a Mouse Model of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex: https://www.nature.com/npp/about?gclid=Cj0KCQiA34OBBhCcARIsAG32uvPcCBYuxzzlON-Xe9EikeYJD6XNNl8TDElaFiONa-02BSWFUv4w2voaAk6REALw_wcB
Subscribe to TSC Matters: https://www.tsalliance.org/tsc-matters-opt-in/

This episode is sponsored by:

Learn more about Noema Pharma: https://noemapharma.com/


Episode 17: Gene Therapy in TSC



In episode 17 of TSC Now, host Dan Klein talks to Xandra Breakefield, PhD, Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and a geneticist, specializing in neurology & tadiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Breakefield’s research focuses on gene therapy in preclinical mouse models of TSC in which the TSC1 or TSC2 gene are missing. By introducing the missing gene into the bloodstream via an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector, Dr. Breakefield has been able to normalize brain structures and extend the lifespan to almost normal length in mouse models of both TSC1 and TSC2. This research was funded in part by grants through the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex Research Program (TSCRP), demonstrating how funds appropriated because of the tireless advocacy during the March on Capitol Hill has meaningfully advanced TSC research. They discuss how AAV vector technology is already being used in other diseases, what are the potential benefits of gene therapy in TSC over current treatment options, and how to transition from ongoing preclinical trials to future clinical trials.

Resources and Links
Read more about Dr. Breakefield’s Research: https://cdmrp.army.mil/tscrp/research_highlights/19breakefield_highlight
Register now for the final Virtual TSC & LAM Conference and view tracks from the previous two: https://www.tsalliance.org/news/join-us-for-the-2020-virtual-tsc-lam-conference-series/
Visit the Virtual Exhibit Hall: https://www.tsalliance.org/virtual-exhibit-hall/
Learn more about a clinical study for individuals with TSC who contracted COVID-19: https://www.tsalliance.org/tsc-matters/have-you-or-your-loved-one-with-tsc-been-diagnosed-with-covid-19-2/


Episode 3: The 2019 International TSC Research Conference



In the third episode of TSC Now, host Dan Klein, Director of Digital Platforms for the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, talks to the two co-chairs of the 2019 International TSC Research Conference: Changing the Course of TSC. Continue reading Episode 3: The 2019 International TSC Research Conference


Episode 1: TSC Global Day, 45th Anniversary and the Future of TSC Research



Welcome to the debut episode of TSC Now, a podcast from the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance! In this episode Dan Klein, Director of Digital Platforms, talked to Jennifer Flinn from TS Canada ST, Eva Schoeters from Be-TSC in Belgium, and Rahul Vipparthi from the TS Alliance of India about the challenges they face in their countries, TSC Global Awareness Day and how they are spreading awareness of TSC. He also talked to Kari Luther Rosbeck, President and CEO of the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance and Chief Scientific Officer Steve Roberds, PhD, about the organization’s 45th anniversary and history, how Unlock the Cure changed the role of the TS Alliance in driving research and what the future holds for TSC research. Finally, Dan talked to Jill Woodworth, host of TSC Talks, about why she started a podcast, what her future plans are for TSC Talks and what she’s learned through the conversations she has had with her guests.

TS Canada ST: https://www.tscanada.ca/

Be-TSC: http://www.betsc.be/

TS Alliance of India: http://tsa-india.org/

To learn more about the Educational Meeting and International TSC Research Conference in Toronto visit: https://www.tsalliance.org/news/the-2019-international-tsc-research-conference-is-june-20-22-in-toronto/

To read about the TANDem Project visit: https://www.tsalliance.org/international-tand-research-project-awarded-funding/

To read the Executive Summary of the Research Business Plan visit: https://www.tsalliance.org/about-us/

To listen to TSC Talks visit: https://www.spreaker.com/show/jill-mccutchan-woodworths-tracks

Send your questions for the Question and Answer episode to tscnow@tsalliance.org.