07 November 2023 | Tuesday | News
Image Source | Public Domain
Fragile X and Autism collectively impact over seven million individuals in the United States and Europe. Despite this staggering number, there are currently no federally approved treatments targeting the genetic roots of these disorders. NeuroQure stands at the forefront of change, channeling the expertise of Justus, a dedicated entrepreneur, and Dr. Gargus, a distinguished geneticist. Their collaboration, built on a decade-long friendship and cultivated through joint efforts at Friends for Fragile X, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has given rise to a vision that seeks to transform lives.
Justus, motivated by his role as a father to a son affected by Fragile X, brings over 20 years of professional experience in building venture- and private equity-backed businesses. Dr. Gargus is a highly respected, world-renowned geneticist who has dedicated his career to advancing scientific research of neurological disorders. Dr. Gargus was most recently the Founding Director of UCI’s Center for Autism Research and Translation where he led a group of over 60 UC Irvine faculty, resulting in groundbreaking discoveries in Fragile X and Autism.
NeuroQure is quickly making advances, beginning with the formation of an all-star advisory board, including Dr. Uta Francke, one of the foremost experts in neurogenetics, former Senior Medical Director of 23andMe, professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and Medical Genetics at Standford University and known for her ground-breaking accomplishments pioneering chromosomal maps and gene mapping and for discovering and defining the function of the neurodevelopmental genes and underlying mutations responsible for Prader-Willi, Williams-Beuren, and Rett syndromes; Dr. Pauline Filipek, an autism expert and the past Chair of the American Academy of Neurology Society Committee to develop Practice Parameters for ASD and the lead author of the ASD Practice Parameters; Albert “Bert” Zimmerli, a healthcare industry expert, recently retired after 20 years as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Intermountain Health, a fully integrated $14+ billion health system, and continues to serve on the boards of Select Health and Intermountain Foundation, and serves as Board Chairman for Intermountain Health Ventures, LLC, and Culmination Bio, Inc.; and Dan Dearen, an FDA trial and monetization expert who most recently served as the President and Chief Financial Officer of Axonics Modulation Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: AXNX), a publicly traded medical technology company with sales of over $273 million in 2022, and serves on the board of JenaValve Technology, Inc.
The goal of developing gene therapy to treat intellectual disabilities fuels both Justus and Dr. Gargus. “Our pursuit is not just scientific; it’s deeply personal. We envision a future where intellectual disabilities are not barriers but challenges we can overcome,” said Justus. “NeuroQure’s mission is not merely scientific advancement; it’s a beacon of hope for individuals and families affected by these conditions.”
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