Families Petition U.S. Government for Continued Access to Arbaclofen

Date: 
June 11, 2013
Fragile X and autism communities rally to support clinical trials of promising medicine for autism-related social disability

Families affected by fragile X syndrome and autism are petitioning the U.S. government to fund continued access to arbaclofen. The experimental medicine has been in clinical trials for the treatment of autism and fragile X syndrome. Access to it was cut off in late May following the suspension of trials by Seaside Therapeutics, the company developing arbaclofen for relief of autism-related social impairment.

In May, Seaside Therapeutics reported that arbaclofen improved some aspects of social behavior in a clinical trial in people with autism. However, it failed to significantly reduce signs of social withdrawal, the study’s main objective.

After the study missed its primary goal, Seaside’s partner – the pharmaceutical company Roche – declined to fund further clinical trials.

Two parent-initiated petitions are now gathering signatures, with 100,000 needed for government response.

* We the People has more than 600 signatures to date.
* Change.org has more than 4,400.

(Follow the links above to sign the petitions.)

Autism Speaks not-for-profit investment affiliate DELSIA (Delivering Scientific Innovation for Autism) is currently supporting Seaside’s efforts to discover biomarkers that can be used to identify individuals most likely to respond to arbaclofen in future clinical trials.