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International Rett Syndrome Foundation awards $2M for cutting-edge Rett syndrome research
Date:10/1/2009

(Cincinnati, Ohio) The International Rett Syndrome Foundation (IRSF) announced today that it is awarding grants totaling $2 million to support 18 innovative research projects in 2009. Each project will explore bold new ideas that have the potential to drive the field forward and speed the translation of research into treatments and a cure for Rett syndrome. With this announcement, the foundation has cumulatively funded over $20M in high quality, peer-reviewed grants that have contributed to the most significant advancements in the field to date.

New awards will be provided for the development of the first neuronal assays for drug screening derived from human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). Additional grant awards will be provided to move forward 5 high impact translational research projects which focus on the development of therapeutics to treat or reverse Rett syndrome. Furthermore, a number of the projects chosen in this funding cycle may result in the identification of new drug targets that can be exploited for therapeutic intervention.

IRSF will shortly provide funding through the launch of two new grant mechanisms focused directly on translational research. The HELP ACCELERATE RETT THERAPEUTICS (HEART) grant awards will provide seed funding to foster early stage translational research programs. The ADVANCED NEUROTHERAPEUTIC GRANT OF EXCELLENCE (ANGEL) award mechanism will provide larger grant awards to more mature drug discovery and development programs that are further along the path to a clinical application. "The HEART and ANGEL awards will be provided to fast track research that is moving new therapies closer to the clinic" said Dr. Antony Horton, Chief Scientific Officer of IRSF.

Dr. John McCall, a drug discovery expert and member of the IRSF's Scientific Advisory Board commented: "A roadmap is now emerging that will lead to significant advances in therapeutic development, leading to treatments that will
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Contact: Dr. Antony Horton
212-459-2608
International Rett Syndrome Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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