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FAST Unites Global Research Experts for Inaugural INSYNC-AS Event

FAST assembles global research experts to advance the current landscape of translational research for Angelman syndrome 

Downers Grove, Ill. (July 16, 2021) — FAST, the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics, announces the International Angelman Syndrome Research Council (INSYNC-AS), a virtual, small group initiative designed to unite global research experts in neurogenetic research, endpoint development, clinical trials, and regulatory affairs, to analyze the Angelman syndrome translational research landscape and current developments for human clinical application. This brain trust consisted of a small group of council members, each world-renowned key opinion leaders in their respective fields and the topics included robust discussions from Elizabeth M Berry-Kravis, M.D., Ph.D., Mark Zylka, Ph.D., David Segal, Ph.D., Art Beaudet, M.D., PhD, Yael Weiss M.D., Ph.D., Mustafa Sahin, M.D., Ph.D., and many other academic and industry participants.

“INSYNC-AS created an opportunity for us to unite global experts to share the current landscape of translational research in Angelman syndrome,” said Allyson Berent, DVM, DACVIM, chief science officer for FAST. “Each of the council members in attendance were tremendously participatory and focused on the vision of the initiative to further translational science. The team was impressed with what has been accomplished in such a short period through FAST’s research initiatives and robust funding strategies. The mission of FAST, which is to bring meaningful therapeutics to all individuals living with Angelman syndrome, was the guiding light for the entire conference. It was clear by the end of the meeting that our mission at FAST was not only possible, but is probable, and AS will serve as a model for so many other rare disorders.”

Held on July 9, 2021, INSYNC-AS brought together players from all aspects of the translational research continuum to provide analysis and feedback to advance FAST’s mission. The full-day event provided an opportunity to expose global experts to the current landscape of translational research in Angelman syndrome. Attendees listened to short presentations on neurogenetics, supported therapeutic programs, drug delivery options, and endpoint and biomarker development for Angelman syndrome. Following each presentation, specific paired attendees led a discussion on a designated topic. The entire team shared their expertise to provide a gap analysis to draw the necessary resources to continue advancing translational research initiatives for Angelman syndrome.

"The future has never looked more positive for the development of transformative treatments for people with Angelman syndrome,” said Omar Khwaja, MD, Ph.D., chief medical officer at Vectivbio. “The INSYNC-AS initiative brings together a truly cross-disciplinary group of experts from across academia, industry, and the Angelman syndrome community to ensure we are rapidly identifying opportunities, solving gaps, prioritizing valuable resources, and accelerating the development of the most promising therapeutic approaches. I was very honored to be part of such a creative and committed group who are undaunted by the challenges ahead and optimistic for the day when Angelman syndrome is treatable."

David Segal, Ph.D., professor for MIND Institute at University of California, Davis, added, "The INSYNC-AS event brought together experts in AS from preclinical, clinical and industry perspectives and sat them all down together to talk about one thing: how do we get treatments to people who need them as quickly and as safely as possible. I think we all left with a better understanding of how to work with each other to make this happen."

INSYNC-AS will continue to create a necessary platform to explore possibilities that impact Angelman syndrome to bring effective treatments to patients. FAST partnered with the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI), a research program that focuses on all aspects of autism research, to support the event and drive future growth for other neurodevelopmental disorders. Together, FAST and SFARI, will grow INSYNC to support many other neurodevelopmental disorders by outlining roadmaps and the necessary steps for meaningful endpoints to drive future growth toward translation research for not only AS but many others.

For more information on the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST), please visit Keep up with the latest news from FAST on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.