The Jack and J.T. Snow Foundation continues to contribute funding to Dr. Fumihiko Urano’s research into Wolfram Syndrome. Dr. Urano’s research is now ready for clinical trials, and the Snow Foundation has a goal of raising about $5 to 7 million for the clinical trial process.
Urano’s research team is pursuing several types of treatments. The first is a pill, already approved by the FDA for other uses, which may help slow the progression of Wolfram Syndrome. The second treatment seeks to help patients regenerate cells that have been destroyed by the disease, which could actually reverse the effects of neurodegeneration, however; Dr. Urano says that treatment will take longer to study and develop.
Because Wolfram Syndrome has similar genetic causes to other forms of diabetes, the impacts of a treatment could affect many more people than the 20,000 with Wolfram Syndrome alone. “If we can find a treatment for Wolfram, we might be able to create a new and effective treatment for diabetes,” Urano says. “The most important thing for us is to provide hope to our patients. Hope really is important, because—I see this in a clinical setting—when patients lose hope, their condition deteriorates. If they know the treatment is coming in six months, then they will do everything they can to live another six months.”
To keep hope alive, the Foundation is raising funds for its research at several upcoming events: ‘Shoot to Cure’ clay shooting competition, which will take place on May 9 at Strathalbyn Farms; Run for Wolfram 5K, on May 30, at LaSalle Springs Middle School; and Wolfram Syndrome Day at Busch Stadium on Aug. 17, where Raquel will throw out the first pitch.
The featured article was published in the Ladue News The Jack and J.T. Snow Foundation: Keep Hope Alive
Featured photo of Dr. Fumihiko Urano and Raquel Gebel by Sarah Conard