Intractable Rare Dis Res. 2015;4(1):39-48. (DOI: 10.5582/irdr.2014.01037)

Fragile X syndrome as a rare disease in China – Therapeutic challenges and opportunities.

Jin X, Chen L


Recognized as the most common inherited from of intellectual disability (ID) and the most common known monogenic cause of autism spectrum disorders (ASD), Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is identified as an unmet medical need for the development of personalized medicine and targeted therapeutics for neurodevelopment disorders as a result of improved understanding of the genetic and cellular mechanisms. Consequently promising pharmacological targets have emerged from basic and translational research, are now being pursued by global pharmaceutical and biotech companies in early proof-of-concept clinical trials. With the world's largest rare disease population, China potentially has a large number of FXS patients, many of whom are under-diagnosed or even misdiagnosed, barely with any treatment. In spite of improved awareness of FXS in recent years, big gaps still exist between China and developed countries in multiple aspects. With increased public awareness, strong government support and investment, coupled with an increasingly large number of Western-trained experienced researchers engaging in new drug discovery and development, China has the potential to become an important player in the discovery of effective diagnostics and treatments for a rare disease like FXS.

KEYWORDS: Fragile X syndrome, FMR1, Drug development, mGluR5, Translational science

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