A trial of the drug Anavex 2-73 as a treatment for Rett syndrome, is now underway in Australia

Posted by Bill Callaghan in News 07 Jun 2019

Anavex 2-73 is a drug developed by Anavex Life Sciences Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company based in New York, which when used in a mouse model of Rett syndrome, assessed muscular co-ordination, balance, motor learning and muscle strength. To quote from Anavex’s media release issued in New York on 18 March 2019 when referring to the outcome of these assessments, “Administration of ANAVEX®2-73 resulted in both significant and dose-related improvements in an array of these behavioral paradigms in the MECP2 HET Rett syndrome disease model.” The main purpose of the release was to highlight the fact that a 7 week placebo-controlled study of Anavex 2-73 as a treatment for 15 patients with Rett syndrome aged 18 years and over, had begun in the US. To view the entire content of the release, just click on this link    Media release by Anavex Life Sciences Corp. – 18 March 2019

Over the past year or so, Claude Buda, President of the Rett Syndrome Association of Australia (RSAA), has been involved in discussions with Anavex Life Sciences Corp. about the possibility of trialling the drug Anavex 2-73 in Australia. During that time, RSAA contacted Australian Rett syndrome families by letter and Facebook to ascertain if they would be interested in being involved in a clinical trial if one was conducted in Australia. Enough interest was shown for Anavex and RSAA to continue their negotiations. 

On 8 May this year, Anavex announced that the Phase 2 Anavex 2-73 study, called AVATAR (ANAVEX®2-73 assessment of safety and efficacy in Rett syndrome patients), will also take place in this country.  For additional information about this particular trial, please click on the following link   Anavex 2-73 and Rett syndrome in Australia . 

RSAA will keep working to give as many Australian Rett syndrome families as possible an opportunity to be involved in a trial of the drug Anavex 2-73 as well as promoting the establishment of additional trial centres in Brisbane and Sydney. The Association is committed to financially assisting those families who do decide to participate, with travel and accommodation costs. 

For the study now underway in Melbourne, thirty females from across Australia aged 18 to 45 years who have a diagnosis of ‘classic’ or ‘typical’ Rett syndrome and a mutation in the MECP2 gene, are being sought as participants. If unsure what is meant by ‘classic’ or ‘typical’ Rett syndrome, an explanation is available from this website which can be read by clicking on   How is Rett syndrome diagnosed?

Trial centres are located at the Alfred Hospital (Prahran) and the Royal Melbourne Hospital (Parkville). If interested in participating, please contact  Claude Buda, RSAA President, either by calling 0411 089 156 or by emailing him at claudebuda@rettaustralia.org.au

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