BBDF is very proud of the research we have funded over the last 8 years. We are especially honored to have worked with Drs. Marco Sardiello, Michela Palmieri and their colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine and the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute (NRI) at Texas Children’s Hospital. These researchers are devoted to helping patients with Batten disease and are vital partners in our efforts. We are delighted that their work was published in Nature Communications this week. Nature Communications is ranked in the top .04% of 28,000 subject journals. Read the article: http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms14338.
The paper is important to the understanding of how healthy cells manage waste disposal, but also because it proves an important concept for treating juvenile Batten disease in mouse models, propelling us forward down the drug discovery pipeline. Today, BBDF is building on this discovery by working on industrial validation and dosing studies with Evotec, a drug discovery alliance and partnership company, to quickly advance Dr. Sardiello’s findings through the regulatory process, and ultimately to clinical trials.
Dr. Sardiello and his team have made a significant discovery and taken a giant step toward our collective goal to treat Batten disease. We are grateful to him and his team for their dedication and perseverance. In response to congratulatory emails, Marco had this message for BBDF donors, “We are proud to be working with you! This could only happen because of your continuous support. More news coming in the next few months… stay tuned!”
To read more:
Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital press release:
Baylor’s press release:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Founder, The Will Herndon Research Fund
LAUREN TRICE NAMED DIRECTOR OF THE WILL HERNDON RESEARCH FUND AT BEYOND BATTEN DISEASE FOUNDATION
THE WOODLANDS (January 12, 2017) – Beyond Batten Disease Foundation (BBDF) is pleased to announce its recent hire of Lauren Trice, who joins the team as the Director of The Will Herndon Research Fund. In this role, Trice will oversee the management, development, and operations for the fund.
“I am honored and humbled to serve during a critical time for the research of juvenile Batten disease,” says Trice. “I believe that with the continued support of our community, we will raise awareness and funds to accelerate the research for a treatment or cure.”
Trice, a resident of The Woodlands, comes to BBDF with experience in various marketing and public relations capacities since 2006. Most recently, she served as the Corporate Market Director for the American Heart Association (AHA) in Montgomery County. In this role, she was awarded the Rome Betts Award of Excellence, which is the most prestigious national staff award given by the AHA.
“Lauren brings a wealth of knowledge, skills and a mission-based focus to our organization that we feel confident will help us meet our ultimate goal to fund a life-saving treatment to save Will and the hundreds of other children affected with this disease,” said Missy Herndon, founder of The Will Herndon Research Fund. “Collaborative research efforts have led us to potentially one of the most promising treatments in the history of juvenile Batten disease. We are grateful to have Lauren leading the local efforts to help see this research come to fruition in Will’s lifetime.”
ABOUT THE WILL HERNDON RESEARCH FUND
The Fund was established in 2009 by Missy and Wayne Herndon, in honor of their son Will, who was diagnosed with juvenile Batten disease at the age of 6. This rare, fatal, genetic disease attacks an otherwise healthy child, beginning with vision loss, declining cognitive skills and seizures. Batten disease is fatal, most often by the late teens or early twenties. Our goal is to SAVE WILL, and the hundreds of other children stricken with juvenile Batten disease. We have HOPE, but we need your help in this race against time. To learn more or to get involved, call 832-610-5995, or visit willherndon.org.
ABOUT BEYOND BATTEN DISEASE FOUNDATION
Beyond Batten Disease Foundation (BBDF) is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research for a treatment and cure for juvenile (CLN3) Batten Disease. Since its inception in 2008, over $16 million has been invested in research by leveraging donations, co-funding and strategic partnerships. BBDF is spearheading a unique, cohesive strategy, incorporating independent scientific resources and collaboration with related organizations to drive research in juvenile Batten Disease. Today there is a treatment in sight. BBDF funded research has discovered a drug that slows the progression of the disease in Batten models. The foundation has launched a 24 month $6 million campaign to advance the treatment to clinical trials. More information can be found at www.beyondbatten.org.
Beyond Batten Disease Foundation Announces New Funding for Metabolomics to Drive Biomarker Discovery in juvenile Batten disease
AUSTIN, TX –January 9, 2017—Beyond Batten Disease Foundation has launched into high gear in the new year to find ways to measure what is happening to a child’s brain in the throws of juvenile Batten disease. Children across the world are suffering from this devastating illness. The foundation has identified a potential treatment and is preparing to conduct a clinical trial this year.
Before one can conduct a clinical trial to test potential new treatments for a brain disease, one must identify harmless ways of checking up on brain cells and measuring their response to treatment. To ensure progress towards a trial is not slowed due to a lack of ways to measure brain cell responses in juvenile Batten disease, Beyond Batten Disease Foundation (BBDF) has awarded De Montfort and Oxford Universities more than $150,000 to address this problem. Investigators with a rich history of success using advanced analytic tools to measure treatment responses to cancer and other lysosomal storage diseases will apply proton (1H) NMR-linked metabolomic strategies to identify sequential changes in cell activity during disease. Once documented, these changes can be monitored during the course of a clinical trial to confirm that a drug is having its predicted effect or provide early warning signs that something is wrong. Oftentimes, measurements such as these are taken long before a patient would feel different or appear to respond to treatment.
“It is hard to discover what is happening inside individual brain cells. Unlike other parts of the body, we can’t perform biopsies or rely on blood tests to provide that information. It is very elusive. We have awarded money to a team of researchers with 20+ years of experience and a history of success identifying trial-ready biomarkers so that we can conduct early determination of how effective treatment is while carefully monitoring safety,” said Danielle Kerkovich, PhD, Principal Scientist of the Beyond Batten Disease Foundation.
“We have high hopes because of the stellar records and years of experience of the investigators involved,” said Mary Beth Kiser, President and CEO of Beyond Batten Disease Foundation.
The award, titled “Identification of New Biomarkers for Metabolomics Classification of Juvenile Disease: A Drug-Targeting Strategy”, is part of BBDF’s portfolio to carve a path from here to a cure. The successful completion of this project has the potential to substantially accelerate efforts to treat juvenile Batten disease.
ABOUT BEYOND BATTEN DISEASE FOUNDATION
Beyond Batten Disease Foundation (BBDF) is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research for a treatment and cure for juvenile (CLN3) Batten disease. Since its inception in 2008, over $16 million has been invested in research by leveraging donations, co-funding and strategic partnerships. BBDF is spearheading a unique, cohesive strategy, incorporating independent scientific resources and collaboration with related organizations to drive research in juvenile Batten Disease. Today there is a treatment in sight. BBDF funded research has discovered a drug that slows the progression of the disease in Batten models. The foundation has launched a 24 month $6 million campaign to advance the treatment to clinical trials. More information can be found at www.beyondbatten.org.
Published November 30, 2016
By Madeline Rathle
Christiane Benson, 14, loves snow skiing, walking her dogs, and riding horses. However, her greatest passion is impacting others by radiating positivity and hope despite being diagnosed with Batten Disease at the age of five. Batten Disease is an extremely rare neurodegenerative condition that affects children and causes seizures, blindness, and mental and physical incapacity.
Finding Simplicity In Life
Craig and Charlotte, Christiane’s parents, noticed something was off when she was learning to read, Christiane would bring the book close to her face. After seeing an eye doctor, they saw a genetic specialist and neurologist who diagnosed her with Batten Disease. “It took our breath away,” says Charlotte. “When you get news like that, the shock of it really numbs you.”
Craig says, “A big part of our response was our faith. We just dropped to our knees.” The Bensons knew they needed to do something. “The condition is usually fatal by the late teens or early 20s, so it created a real sense of urgency and a race against time,” says Craig. Unexpectedly, the Benson’s communities of family and friends turned out to be the answer to their prayers.
Beyond Batten Disease Foundation is proud to introduce the BE Project! The BE Project is a 24 month, $6 million campaign to fund the treatment for juvenile Batten disease. To find out more watch the video or visit the BE Project landing page.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Angela Hale
Red Media Group
Beyond Batten Disease Foundation, Noah’s Hope, Hope 4 Bridget and Batten Disease Research and Support Association Partner to Support the World’s Largest and most Comprehensive Batten Patient Registry
Austin, TX (September 12, 2016) — Beyond Batten Disease (BBDF), Noah’s Hope, Hope for Bridget and the Batten Disease Support and Research Association (BDSRA) are joining forces to support the expansion of DEM-CHILD, a novel network of prominent NCL clinician scientists and researchers working together to collect the world’s largest and most well-characterized set of patients with juvenile (CLN3), late infantile (CLN2) and 12 other forms of Batten disease. Funding will support the continued collection of patient data in Germany, Norway, Denmark, France, Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Great Britain, Finland, India and the United States with a special focus on standardization of measurement and widespread use of the Unified Batten Disease Rating Scale (UBDRS). “We are co-funding this effort with committed partners because we believe that good and thorough patient registries that identify all of the major and minor characteristics of a disease, along with family contact information, will be critical to the planning, execution and ultimately the success of any clinical trials for Batten disease,” said Mary Beth Kiser, CEO of the Beyond Batten Disease Foundation. The UBDRS was developed at the University of Rochester Batten Center to quantify the physical, behavioral, seizure and functional aspects of juvenile (CLN3) Batten disease. Jonathan W. Mink, MD PhD, FAAN, FANA, FAAP, Frederick A. Horner, MD Endowed Professor in Pediatric Neurology and president-elect of the Child Neurology Society at the University of Rochester Medical Center, will work with Angela Schulz, MD, principal investigator and coordinator of DEM CHILD at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf. Together and with their colleagues, Drs Mink and Schulz will add UBDRS data to DEM CHILD, further align their databases, and collaborate using the larger combined data to establish more rigorous natural history baselines for all forms of Batten disease. In the last few years, Dr Schulz has expanded DEM-CHILD from 7 countries to 18. Combined international patient registry development for control data, natural history documentation and biomarker identification is part of BBDF’s larger strategy to prepare for success in clinical trials. ABOUT BEYOND BATTEN DISEASE FOUNDATION Beyond Batten Disease Foundation (BBDF) is the world’s largest nonprofit organization dedicated to funding research for a treatment and cure for juvenile (CLN3) Batten Disease. Since its inception in 2008, over $16 million has been invested in research by leveraging donations, co-funding and strategic partnerships. BBDF is spearheading a unique, cohesive strategy, incorporating independent scientific resources and collaboration with related organizations to drive research in juvenile Batten Disease. Today there is a treatment in sight. BBDF funded research has discovered a drug that slows the progression of the disease in Batten models. The foundation has launched a 24 month $6 million campaign to advance the treatment to clinical trials. More information can be found at www.beyondbatten.org. ABOUT NOAH’S HOPE-HOPE 4 BRIDGET Noah’s Hope-Hope 4 Bridget, a non-for-profit 501(c)3, was established by the parents of Noah VanHoutan, Laine VanHoutan and Bridget Kennicott, who were diagnosed Late Infantile Batten disease (CLN2) in 2009. After founding individual foundations in 2009, the families partnered in 2014 to strengthen their efforts in research and find a treatment and cure for children impacted by the fatal disease. Noah’s Hope-Hope 4 Bridget also works on awareness of Batten disease. Late Infantile Batten disease affects fewer than 450 children in the United States. Children with Late Infantile Batten disease develop normally through their toddler years, giggling, talking, and running circles around their parents. By age three, they begin to have seizures and gradually lose the ability to walk, talk, and feed themselves. Late Infantile Batten disease is ruthless. Noah passed away in March 2016, just a few weeks shy of his 12th birthday. At this time, Late Infantile Batten disease is fatal between the ages of eight and 12, sometimes longer. For more information, about Noah’s Hope visit:www.NoahsHope.com. For more information about Hope 4 Bridget visit: www.Hope4Brdiget.com ABOUT BATTEN DISEASE SUPPORT AND RESEARCH ASSOCIATION The Batten Disease Support and Research Association (BDSRA) serves those with all 14 identified forms of Batten disease through patient education, family and research conferences, consultation and advocacy. For nearly 30 years, BDSRA’s committed families have funded researchers around the world who have developed the research knowledge leading to today’s clinical trials. For more information: www.bdsra.org.
Six years ago, doctors told Missy and Wayne Herndon their 6-year-old son had a rare genetic disorder. The boy would soon be blind, they said. Cognitive ability would go next, slowly over time. And then, probably in his teen years, Will would die.
There was no cure or even research money for Batten disease, a condition affecting fewer than 1,000 children across the world. Nothing to be done, doctors said, but wait.
To read the full article click HERE.
Beyond Batten. First, there’s the house. None other like it in Austin. Dimensional Fund head David Booth invited fewer than 50 guests to his still-new residence planted on several landscaped acres above Lake Austin. Sculptures and installations outside, mostly contemporary paintings and smaller pieces inside. Assembled from alternating, angled planes of glass and white walls, it could very well double as an art museum. Security is paramount. So no photos of the museum-quality art, thank you. Then, there’s the cause. Austin’s Charlotte and Craig Benson created Beyond Batten Disease Foundation when their daughter, Christiane, was diagnosed with the extremely rare, harrowing condition. So far, they’ve helped put together $16 million for research. They have also combined the resources of other Batten families and foundations with related neurological disease groups to help identify a new treatment that promises to slow its progress. Now they are seeking $6 million over the next 18 months to prep the treatment for human tests. Like the house, their story is like none other.
To see the full article click HERE.