I’d like to begin by thanking all of you for your continued support, trust, and faith in me. I always feel your support and energy. It is always my pleasure to update you about our progress.
To achieve a cure for Wolfram syndrome, we need breakthrough treatments. We currently have three new candidate drugs that can potentially delay or halt the progression of Wolfram syndrome. In parallel, we are developing regenerative gene therapy to protect and regrow remaining eye and brain cells. We usually test the efficacy of candidate drugs and gene therapies in cell models of Wolfram syndrome first. Wolfram cell models are cells derived from our patients or cells lacking normal Wolfram syndrome 1 gene. These cells are sensitive to cell stress and susceptible to cell death. So we are looking for candidate drugs and gene therapies that can reduce cell stress and cell death in Wolfram cell models. The advantage of using cell models is that we can test multiple drug candidates at the same time within a few months. As a next step, we use a mouse model of Wolfram syndrome to test the efficacy of new treatments on visual acuity, brain function, and diabetes. These are genetically engineered mice that do not have Wolfram syndrome 1 gene and develop diabetes, visual impairment, and brain dysfunction. Although these mice are quite useful, it is challenging to test the efficacy of a type of gene therapy called gene editing because they don’t carry abnormal Wolfram syndrome 1 gene variants that our patients carry. In addition, because mice are so small, it is challenging for us to test the efficacy of new treatments in their eyes. Their eyes are so small. To overcome these challenges, I have designed mice and rats carrying Wolfram syndrome 1 gene variants that our patients carry. We call them humanized Wolfram mice and rats. If successful, we can test our new gene therapy and assess the efficacy of new treatments on visual acuity in these humanized Wolfram mice and rats. This will accelerate the pace of our therapeutic development.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns (firstname.lastname@example.org). I would like to know what you think and how you feel. Thank you again for your support. I cannot thank you enough.
With passion, hope, and gratitude,