Dr. Mark F. Bear
Randall L. Carpenter
TSC MEMBER INSTITUTION(S):
National Science Foundation
ABOUT THE COMPANY:
Seaside Therapeutics founders understand the toll that brain development disorders, including autism and mental retardation, take on families and share the sense of frustration that effective therapeutics are still not available despite recent scientific advances. Historically, drug discovery in disorders of brain development has been unproductive largely due to the lack of a mechanistic understanding of these disorders, as well as the absence of predictive animal models. Seaside is changing this paradigm through scientific exploration that focuses on identifying the fundamental pathophysiology of brain development disorders and application of this knowledge to develop targeted therapeutics. A key advance for understanding Fragile X syndrome was the discovery of the specific genetic cause and subsequent engineering of a relevant mouse disease model. Through study of these genetically engineered mice, Seaside founder Dr. Mark Bear and his colleagues discovered a molecular pathway, an mGluR signaling cascade, that is disrupted in a specific disorder of brain development — Fragile X Syndrome. Further research has provided insights for developing novel medications to normalize the function of this pathway, which Seaside believes may extend beyond Fragile X Syndrome into a number of other developmental disorders, including autism.
Seaside Therapeutics was founded to develop potential treatments for these underserved populations by translating breakthrough discoveries in neurobiology into therapeutics that improve the lives of patients and their families. Its lead drug development programs are currently focused on creating new treatments to correct or improve the course of Fragile X Syndrome and autism. It also continues to evaluate discoveries and explore opportunities to develop novel therapeutics for patients with other disorders of brain development.
UNIVERSITY-BASED RESEARCH CONNECTION:
Seaside Therapeutics, a successor company to Brown University spin-off Sention, Inc., was founded in 2005 to commercialize new drug treatments to correct or improve the course of Fragile X Syndrome, autism and other disorders of brain development. In his work, first at Brown University and now at MIT, founder, Mark Bear, found that people with Fragile X cannot process metabotropic glutamate receptors, or mGluRs, which act as a conduit between incoming information and memory in the brain. Strengthen that chemical link, the theory goes, and you may be able to stop or even reverse developmental disorders.
ROLE OF FEDERAL RESEARCH FUNDING:
The National Science Foundation supported the research conducted at Brown University that formed the basis of Brown spin-off, Sention, Inc. This was subsequently rolled into Seaside Therapeutics.
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