Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Saga Continues

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We are currently in limbo phase with the STX 209 trial.  We know it has ended, but haven't yet received either a kit to wean or a call from the clinic on how to do so.   Not that I'm worried about either of these things.   We have heard and were told when we were notified the trial has been terminated that May 31 would be the last day we could begin to wean from the medication, although we have enough to last through August.   We have a few big things happening in the next few weeks which is when we are supposed to wean, the biggest of these being my sister-in-law's wedding.  The one Ayden is in.  I don't know if it will be allowed but I am going to BEG for us to be given eight more days.   That would give us enough time to get through the wedding, but not school.  School for us ends on June 12.

I have no allusions about how the weaning is going to go.  It was difficult in the blind portion.  (Though, technically we still don't know if he was on it - all evidence supports that he was).  I really would like to avoid any situations that are triggers during that time until we get a little more settled.  We will be in need of many thoughts and prayers during this time, not just for Ayden but for those around him.  I'm hoping that the baclofen will at least help with weaning, not make it so difficult. The best thing we could hope for is that it works about the same as the arbaclofen does.

Through all this, I've been reading a lot about clinical trials and the FDA approval process.  Another FX mom piqued my interest with a few comments so I decided to look more into it.  It's all very interesting.  There is a very unique challenge being faced by the pharmaceutical companies pushing forward with Autism and Fragile X medications.  Both are spectrum disorders with each individual displaying a range of symptoms.  I think we will find then that different therapeutic interventions tend to work differently as well.  I also believe this is the same reason we are seeing the varying results in the studies for STX 209.   This medication is treating the underlying cause and thus the reaction and measurable changes will differ from person to person - a more personalized therapy treatment as opposed to this drug does this one thing.  Essentially, the FDA approval is not setup to handle this type of medication.  They require a primary endpoint set and to be met for a trial to succeed.  Even if all the sub points succeed (as in the autism trial for 209) the study itself will fail as it did not meet the primary endpoint.  So while we are seeing results in individuals taking the medication being backed up by tried and true tests like Vineland Adaptive Behavior and we know this is working - the FDA approval process essentially doesn't accommodate treatments that have specific benefits for certain patients. 

I do know that this whole experience has been eye opening.  I'm glad I took the time to learn more about the FDA approval process.  I'm definitely glad we took part in this trial, it truly is groundbreaking - even if arbaclofen never sees approval, we will have been part of a huge learning process working towards getting treatments for Fragile X Syndrome.   With everything we did to try to keep this trial alive (which I won't go into now), it was also good to see our fragile x champions in congress also stepping up and doing what they could to help.  Congressman Greg Harper, Congressman Eliot Engel, Senator Stabenow, and Senator Isakson.  I think the past few months have opened my eyes from saying one voice can make a difference in Washington to SEEING my voice make a difference.  Seeing our politicians use their constituents voices as their own.  It's completely refreshing.

I'll keep updating as we continue on this journey....


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