FAST Receives $250,000 Anonymous Donation - Ambitious Research Project Underway
In 2008, the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST) was formed and invigorated the community with our fresh energy, our aggressive approach to Angelman Syndrome (AS) research, and our concise mission to bring practical treatment into current medical practice as quickly as possible. In April 2012, FAST was thrilled to receive an anonymous donation of $250,000. The donor was drawn to the FAST organization for two reasons: our aggressive approach to AS research and our work within the Angelman community. [caption id="attachment_135" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Vivint Gives Back Project Winners"][/caption] The anonymous donor was most impressed by FAST’s approach to exclusively funding research that will identify, or help to identify, safe and effective treatments that will address the symptoms of AS as quickly as possible, while continuing to aggressively pursue the path towards a cure. In addition to being drawn to the FAST Mission, the anonymous donor was very impressed by the community’s involvement in the Vivint Gives Back Project and the unity and solidarity shown during the Annual FAST Gala. The annual FAST Gala fundraiser unites the AS community in ways never seen before and solidifies us in our common goal, as was demonstrated by our monumental win of $250,000 in the Vivint Gives Back Project. [caption id="attachment_136" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Clinical Trials in Tampa"][/caption] In January 2011, FAST funded research that identified a Food and DrugAdministration (FDA) approved compound that restored cognition and motor function in the AS mouse model. With the help of the Angelman community and the $250,000 won by the community for FAST in the Vivint Gives Back Project, FAST was able to take this finding from the laboratory to a human clinical trial within one year with Institutional Review Board (IRB) and FDA approval. FAST was able to do this quickly and with relatively little funding, demonstrating the organization’s ability to spend raised funds efficiently to produce results that will have the most impact on our children and their families. [caption id="attachment_174" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Stephanie Manning & Colin Farrell at the 2011 FAST Gala"][/caption] The recent $250,000 donation will be combined with additional FAST funds to initiate the most aggressive, comprehensive and ambitious AS research project to date. The project will bring together an impressive group of leading AS experts to work collaboratively on identifying treatments and a cure. With experts in the fields of neurophysiology, pediatric neurology, genomic [caption id="attachment_175" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="2011 FAST Gala"][/caption] therapeutics, learning and memory, synaptic plasticity, epigenetics, and genomic imprinting working together, the project’s novel approach will accelerate AS research in ways never imagined. This FAST-funded project is a five-year project that will expand in terms of scope and number of researchers over the next several years. The goal of this project is simple: to bring effective treatments into current medical practice and to cure AS as quickly as possible. Our goal at FAST is to raise $5 million to provide the funding needed to allow these scientists to hire additional researchers, purchase reagents and equipment, and move research forward faster than currently possible. FAST is enormously grateful to this donor for assisting us in making this innovative, ambitious project a reality as this donation will allow these researchers to get started now. Look for more news about this exciting project in the coming months. If you or someone you know is interested in supporting this project and the work FAST does on behalf of our children, please contact FAST at info@CureAngelman.org.