Another Suramin Study Shows Promise for Treating Core Symptoms of Autism

Research Involved an Intravenous Form of Suramin Called PAX-101

Exciting news surrounding a potential autism medication was delivered from New Jersey last week. PaxMedica, a biopharmaceutical company, announced impressive results from their phase 2 dose-ranging clinical trial investigating their product PAX-101 (IV suramin) as a potential therapeutic to alleviate core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Currently, there are no FDA approved pharmaceutical treatments available to address these symptoms.  PaxMedica believes their product could be the first. The company’s phase 2 trial included 52 children from South Africa who were considered to have moderate to severe symptoms of ASD.  The mean age of these participants was 8.3 years. The children were randomly selected to either receive PAX-101 or a placebo via IV infusion. The infusions were given at baseline, week 4, and week 8. At the end of the study, the group who received the infusions with PAX-101 showed “marked and sustained” improvements of their autism symptoms.  These gains were verified by using several different autism assessment measures. By week 14, the children who received PAX-101 had a mean improvement of 48% from baseline compared to 31% for those who received the placebo. The study’s authors also reported that twice as many PAX-101 treated subjects displayed a 70% or greater improvement compared to the control group. PaxMedica is not alone in their pursuit to use suramin to treat autism symptoms, Dr. Robert Naviaux at UCSD has been studying the drug for several years and also finding incredibly promising results. 

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