I would like to update you about the status of our clinical trial of dantrolene sodium in patients with Wolfram syndrome. Dantrolene is a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug currently used for different medical conditions. Based on our data, we received orphan drug designation of dantrolene sodium for the treatment of Wolfram syndrome from US FDA and European Medicines Agency (EMA) in 2016. We also received the green light from the FDA and Washington University Medical Center to proceed to a pilot clinical trial (phase 1b) to assess the safety and efficacy of dantrolene on patient’s vision, brain functions, and diabetes.
Thanks to the generous support from the Snow Foundation in collaboration with Ellie White Foundation and other private donors, I was able to commence the clinical trial and slowly started recruiting patients. I would like to recruit at least 24 patients and hope to secure more funds to accommodate all the patients who are eligible for this trial. Stephanie Gebel has told me that she will do her best to make this happen. I was just informed this week that we will receive grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support this trial.
I have not forgotten about our patients in other countries. Dr. Tim Barrett in the UK and I are closely working to conduct international clinical trials for Wolfram syndrome. In parallel, we keep on developing novel drugs and regenerative therapies for Wolfram syndrome. Dantrolene could be a band-aid for Wolfram, but cannot provide a cure. Thus, we need pipelines for developing breakthrough treatments.
Thank you for your continued support.
Fumi Urano, MD