FPWR Blog

PWS Clinical Trial Consortium and FDA Hold Key Meeting This November

The PWS Clinical Trial Consortium has recently been granted the unique chance to have a Critical Path Innovation Meeting with representatives of the FDA. The meeting will take place in November in Silver Spring, Maryland. This is a unique opportunity for the consortium and the PWS community to engage in discussions with the FDA on the progress made in the last three years by the consortium to overcome clinical trial challenges in PWS.

Topics: News

Progress on 10 Recommendations from PWS Mental Health Research Workshop

Mental health and behavioral problems are a major challenge for individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), with significant impacts on quality of life and independence for both the person with PWS and their family. In 2015, FPWR conducted a two-day workshop bringing together approximately 45 top mental health researchers and clinicians from around the world to discuss behavior and mental health in PWS. The goal of the workshop was to develop a strategy for moving the science in the area forward. As part of this strategy, 10 recommendations were developed to advance mental health research and treatments for people with PWS (see article, Prader-Willi syndrome mental health research strategy workshop proceedings: the state of the science and future directions). Progress on these 10 recommendations is summarized below. A downloadable PDF of these recommendations is also available. 

Topics: Research

FPWR Conference Spotlight: You!

We’re in the home stretch before the 2018 FPWR Family Conference, and the only thing missing is you!

From Oct. 4-6 in Las Vegas, we’ll bring together families, caregivers, researchers and PWS experts for education, networking and community-building. We’re also excited to welcome parents of individuals with Schaaf-Yang once again and USP7 syndromes for the first time.

It’s a powerful experience, to be sure, and it wouldn’t be the same without all of you! Here are some highlights of what to expect.

Topics: News

FPWR Conference Spotlight: PWS Applied Behavior Analysis

We hope that every parent walks away from the FPWR Family Conference with new information they can use in their everyday lives, and our two sessions on PWS Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) will be packed with practical tools.

Board Certified Behavior Analyst Cindy Szapacs and Associate Behavior Analyst Tony Chambers will lead separate sessions on ABA focused on dispelling myths and education advocacy, respectively.

For all parents who have faced or are facing behavior challenges, these PWS Applied Behavior Analysis sessions should shed light on a better path forward for you and your child.

Topics: News

Finally! We have treatments for PWS in clinical trials. How have we gotten here?

We are in an exciting time in PWS research. More clinical trials evaluating new drugs for PWS are taking place this year than in the last 10 years combined! For the first time ever, families will be able to choose from multiple clinical trials enrolling patients across the United States. More than 500 patients will be needed to fill these clinical trials.

Topics: News

FPWR Conference Spotlight: Schaaf-Yang Syndrome Workshops

For the second year in a row, we’re looking forward to holding Schaaf-Yang Syndrome Workshops at the FPWR Family Conference. Please join me in welcoming SYS families again this year!

In 2017, families with a diagnosis of Schaaf-Yang syndrome (SYS) gathered with us to share research information and insights. Schaaf-Yang syndrome is a genetic disorder that’s caused by a disruption of the MAGEL2 gene on chromosome 15. The same disrupted gene is also missing in PWS, which occurs when MAGEL2 and several additional genes on chromosome 15 are missing or inactivated.

Conference sessions marked “SYS Families” are either specific to SYS or will contain PWS information that’s also relevant.

Topics: News

Theresa Strong Named to FDA Patient Engagement Collaborative

FPWR is thrilled to announce that Theresa Strong, our Director of Research Programs (and mom to Daniel, with PWS) has been selected to serve on the Patient Engagement Collaborative (PEC) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Clinical Trials Transformation InitiativeThe collaborative will share ideas on innovative ways for patients and the FDA to work together in the regulatory decision-making process.

Topics: News

Soleno Therapeutics Receives Fast Track Designation from FDA for DCCR for Treatment of Prader-Willi Syndrome

Soleno Therapeutics has received an FDA Fast Track Designation for diazoxide choline controlled-release (DCCR) for the treatment of PWS. Soleno is currently conducting a Phase III clinical trial of DCCR for the treatment of PWS. FPWR provided partial funding for the Phase 1 clinical trial.

NEW Tool to Help Measure Anxiety and Distress in PWS

This guest blog was contributed by Sara Cotter, CEO, Levo Therapeutics.

When developing new medicines to treat PWS, companies need to demonstrate meaningful improvements in PWS symptoms. For growth hormone, this was relatively straightforward because changes in height are easily measured. For behavioral or psychiatric symptoms in PWS, this becomes a far more challenging task.

As a community, we are so fortunate to have the Hyperphagia Questionnaire for Clinical Trials, also known as the HQ-CT. This hyperphagia questionnaire was originally developed by Elisabeth Dykens and colleagues at Vanderbilt University, and further adapted for clinical trials by Zafgen and RTI Health Solutions. It measures observable behaviors related to hyperphagia, with questions like: “How upset did the person generally become when denied a desired food?” and “How often did the person try to sneak or steal food (that you are aware of)?”

Topics: Research

PWS Registry Data: 88% Have Received Speech Therapy [INFOGRAPHIC]

Speech requires a complex combination of cognitive processing to quickly find and combine the right words, paired with the physical process of producing sounds. Since PWS impacts a variety of pathways that contribute to speech and sound development, it is not surprising that 88% of individuals within the Global PWS Registry have at some point received speech therapy. The factors affecting speech and communication in PWS include issues with developmental delays, auditory and cognitive processing, oral and facial muscle strength, high-arched palate, and low saliva production. With regard to the sounds of speech in PWS, characteristics often include unusual prosody, or melody of speech; difficulty with articulating words; hypernasality; a slow speaking rate; and flat or abnormal pitch and intonation.

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