Cannabidiol May Be a Potential Treatment for Fragile X Syndrome

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DEVON, PAZynerba Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ZYNE) announced the recent publication of a paper entitled, “Role of the Endocannabinoid System in Fragile X Syndrome: Potential Mechanisms for Benefit From Cannabidiol Treatment,” in the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders. The review of evidence suggests a central role for the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in neuronal development and cognitive function and in the pathogenesis of Fragile X syndrome (FXS), and the potential role of cannabidiol as a treatment for FXS. The article can be accessed online at the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at https://rdcu.be/c25fu.

“This publication describes the potential of Zygel as a treatment for Fragile X syndrome based on the central role the endocannabinoid system plays in neuronal development and function,” said Armando Anido, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Zynerba. “The proposed mechanisms of action of cannabidiol are supported by the results from our Phase 3 CONNECT-FX trial in patients with Fragile X syndrome with greater than or equal to 90% methylation of the FMR1 gene, benefited from treatment with Zygel. These findings bolster our confidence in the design of the ongoing, confirmatory, pivotal Phase 3 RECONNECT trial.”

FXS is caused by deficiency or absence of the FMR1 protein, FMRP. The absence of FMRP disrupts ECS signaling, which has been implicated in FXS pathogenesis. The ECS helps maintain neuronal function and signaling and is thought to be disrupted in FXS. Cannabidiol may help restore the function of the ECS in FXS according to a review of data to date. Cannabidiol may also act as an agonist on serotonin 5HT1A and other receptors which may contribute to beneficial effects in people with FXS. Consistent with these proposed mechanisms of action of cannabidiol in FXS, in the Phase 3 CONNECT-FX trial, Zygel was associated with improvements in measures of social avoidance, irritability and social interaction, particularly in patients showing ≥90% methylation of the FMR1 gene. Results from the CONNECT-FX study of Zygel for the treatment of behavioral symptoms in children and adolescents with FXS can be accessed online at the Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at https://rdcu.be/c0sKz.

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