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Greenwood Genetic Center Involved in First FDA-Approved Drug for Rett Syndrome

Greenwood Genetic Center

The Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC) participated in recent clinical trials for the first ever FDA-approved medication specifically for patients with Rett syndrome.

Acadia Pharmaceutical’s DAYBUE™ (trofinetide) was approved by the FDA in March for the treatment of Rett syndrome in adult and pediatric patients two years and older. It is the first and only drug approved for the treatment of Rett syndrome, a rare genetic neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 6,000-9,000 patients in the US.

GGC enrolled seven patients with Rett syndrome in the recent Phase 3 clinical trial which demonstrated statistically significant improvement in patients who took trofinetide compared to those on a placebo. GGC also participated in earlier phases of study on this drug.

“Rett syndrome causes significant and lifelong challenges including developmental regression with the loss of communications skills and purposeful hand use, as well as behavioral and physical symptoms that impact breathing, sleep, growth, and mobility,” said Steve Skinner, MD, Director of GGC and study investigator. “After decades of clinical research and drug development, we now have something to offer these patients and families that has the potential to improve many of the symptoms of Rett syndrome.”

GGC, a Rett Syndrome Center of Excellence, has been active in the study and care of patients with Rett syndrome for over two decades, including the National Institutes of Health-sponsored natural history study and several clinical trial projects. The Center also holds a Rett syndrome clinic at Shriners Hospital for Children in Greenville.

“The approval of DAYBUE represents a long-awaited development for the treatment of Rett syndrome,” said Fran Annese, LMSW, Clinical Trials Coordinator at GGC. “We are excited and hopeful for the benefits this will have for our families and are grateful for those who joined the clinical trial and helped bring this drug to market.”

DAYBUE is expected to be available in the US by the end of April, 2023.

About Greenwood Genetic Center

The Greenwood Genetic Center (GGC), founded in 1974, is a nonprofit organization advancing the field of medical genetics and caring for families impacted by genetic disease and birth defects.  At its home campus in Greenwood, South Carolina, a talented team of physicians and scientists provides clinical genetic services, diagnostic laboratory testing, educational programs and resources, and research in the field of medical genetics.  GGC’s faculty and staff are committed to the goal of developing preventive and curative therapies for the individuals and families they serve.  GGC extends its reach as a resource to all residents of South Carolina with satellite offices in Charleston, Columbia, Florence and Greenville. For more information about GGC please visit www.ggc.org.

About Rett Syndrome

Rett syndrome is a rare, complex, neurodevelopmental disorder that affects approximately 6,000 to 9,000 patients in the US. A child with Rett syndrome exhibits an early period of apparently normal development until six to 18 months, when their skills seem to slow down or stagnate. This is typically followed by a duration of regression when the child loses acquired communication skills and purposeful hand use. Rett syndrome is typically caused by a genetic mutation on the MECP2 gene. Symptoms of Rett syndrome may also include development of hand stereotypies, such as hand wringing and clapping, and gait abnormalities.

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Tamia Sumpter

Tamia is a driven senior undergraduate Bioengineering student currently enrolled at Clemson University. With a strong foundation in her field, she has honed her skills through hands-on experience in research and development at Eli Lilly & Company. During her time in the ADME department, Tamia contributed significantly by working on siRNAs and their applications in finding In Vitro-In Vivo Correlation (IVIVC). Looking ahead, Tamia has set her sights on a promising career in law. She aspires to specialize in Intellectual Property Law, with a particular focus on serving as in-house counsel for leading medical device or pharmaceutical companies. Her enthusiasm for this role is palpable as she prepares to embark on her legal journey! She is also a proud member of the Omicron Phi chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., PEER Mentor for Clemson PEER/WiSE, and currently serves as the President of Clemson Bioengineering Organization (CBO). With her unique blend of scientific knowledge and legal interests, Tamia is poised to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare and life sciences industries.