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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
24-Feb-2014

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Contact: Steven Kaminsky
skaminsky@rettsyndrome.org
International Rett Syndrome Foundation

IRSF announces 2013 awards and implements new Translational Program

The International Rett Syndrome Foundation announces today 10 new research grants

Cincinnati, (OH) The International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF) announces today ten (10) new research grants at leading global research institutions; a new Translational Research Program; and additional funding for current human clinical trials.

The funding awarded in 2013 covers the spectrum of Rett syndrome research, from basic discovery starting at the genetic level all the way to treating the girls diagnosed with Rett syndrome. Awards are not restricted by geographic boundaries, and several of the new IRSF grants are invested in researchers from Canada and Australia. IRSF remains steadfast in recruiting talented young scientists to the research bench for Rett syndrome, and welcomes three new IRSF fellows into the IRSF training fellowship program.

In an effort to move potential therapeutics past the translational research funding gap and into clinics, IRSF announces the Scout Program, a Drug Discovery Screen in a mouse model of Rett syndrome that will aggressively accelerate the testing of compounds, whether new or repurposed, through standardized preclinical studies. The Scout Program was created to replicate and confirm encouraging results stemming from studies performed in academic labs as well as testing of compounds no labs are pursuing. The Contract Research Organization (CRO) PsychoGenics, Inc. in Tarrytown, NY is the testing bed for this program and will independently test selected drugs using the set standards in preclinical studies for Rett syndrome. Outcomes from this program will provide the complementary high quality data required to move promising compounds through federal review and along the drug development pipeline toward the clinic.

"IRSF is taking the next logical step forward in developing programs that move the basic science discovery findings forward to rigorist pre-clinical trials. This is in concert with recent announcements and publications coming out of the National Institutes of Health for more rigor and replication of reported science before moving forward to clinical trials," said Steven Kaminsky, PhD, the Chief Science Officer of IRSF.

Rajat Shah, Chairman of the IRSF Board of Directors adds, "The Board is excited about the research direction that IRSF is taking. Accelerating the pace at which new drugs will move towards human clinical trials while identifying areas of research that need to be filled is of utmost importance to IRSF. Our sincerest thanks to all our families, donors, and supporters who have helped us fund this compelling research."

New Translational Research Awards

New Basic Research Awards-Regular Research Grants

New Mentored Training Fellowships

New IRSF Scout Program

Supplemental Funding for Current ANGEL Awards

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About the International Rett Syndrome Foundation

IRSF is the leading private funder of Rett syndrome research and a provider of family support programs to those touched by Rett syndrome. Through partnerships with local, national, and international supporters, IRSF has invested more than $32 million in research leading to discoveries that allow us to test treatments for Rett syndrome in human clinical trials today. IRSF has earned Charity Navigator's most prestigious 4 star rating.

About Rett syndrome (RTT)

Rett syndrome is a rare genetic postnatal neurological disorder that occurs almost exclusively in girls and leads to severe impairments, affecting nearly every aspect of child's life: their ability to speak, walk, eat, and even breathe. The hallmark of Rett syndrome is near constant repetitive hand movements. Cognitive assessment in children with Rett syndrome is complicated, but we know that they understand far more than they can communicate to us, evidenced by their bright and attentive eyes, and their ability to express a wide spectrum of moods and emotions. To learn more about IRSF and Rett syndrome, visit http://www.rettsyndrome.org or call IRSF at 1-800-818-RETT (7388).



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