MIAMI – Biorasi, a leading global full-service contract research organization (CRO), has announced the appointment of Jimmy El Hokayem, Ph.D., head of the company’s Neurology and Regenerative Medicine Center of Excellence to the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) for the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics (FAST). In this role, Dr. El Hokayem will provide advisement and clinical trial expertise to support FAST in their goal of curing Angelman syndrome.
“FAST is so thrilled to welcome Dr. El Hokayem to join the scientific advisory board, where the members are deeply committed to ensuring that only the most translatable and cutting-edge scientific research is funded. This stellar team helps FAST maintain scientific momentum with the primary goal to bring meaningful therapeutics to humans living every day with Angelman syndrome,” said Dr. Allyson Berent, FAST’s Chief Science Officer. “Dr. El Hokayem has a really unique skillset in neuroscience, drug development and biotechnology strategy. This makes our collaborations with him incredibly exciting.”
Angelman Syndrome (AS) is a rare neurogenetic disorder that affects approximately one in 15,000 people. It is defined by balance issues, motor impairment and debilitating seizures in both children and adults. FAST was founded in 2008 with a mission to develop meaningful therapeutics for all individuals living with Angelman syndrome and is currently the largest non-governmental funder for this rare disease globally.
In addition to his recent appointment to SAB at FAST, Dr. Hokayem is Head of the Neurology and Regenerative Medicine Center of Excellence and Associate Director of Program Development at Biorasi. With over twenty years’ experience in both academia and clinical research, he has focused his research on rare neurological diseases; namely on AS, where he was the first to demonstrate the long overlooked role of the transcriptional coactivation function of UBE3a in the pathobiology of AS, and opened new avenues for biomarker development.
Dr. El Hokayem received his Ph.D. from University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He continued his training with post-doctoral work at the University’s Hussman Institute for Human Genomics.
“FAST was such an integral part of my academic life. This outstanding foundation supported my work on AS for so many years. I am deeply humbled by this honor and by this opportunity to meaningfully contribute to FAST’s mission to cure AS.”
FAST (Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics) is a Section 501(c)(3) nonprofit research organization singularly focused on funding research that holds the greatest promise of treating Angelman syndrome. FAST is the largest, nongovernmental funder of Angelman-specific research. FAST has invested over $20MM in accelerating numerous disease modifying, gene-altering and gene-editing strategies for Angelman syndrome. Paula Evans, the mother of a girl with Angelman syndrome, founded FAST in 2008. In 2017, FAST formed GeneTx Biotherapeutics to develop GTX-102 for human clinical trials. More information can be found at www.CureAngelman.org.
About Angelman Syndrome
Angelman syndrome is a rare, neurogenetic disorder caused by loss-of-function of the maternally inherited allele of the UBE3a gene. It is estimated to affect 1 in 12,000 to 1 in 20,000 people globally. Individuals with Angelman syndrome have developmental delays, balance issues, motor impairment, and debilitating seizures. Some are unable to walk and most do not speak. While individuals with Angelman syndrome have a normal lifespan, they require continuous care and are unable to live independently. There are no currently approved therapies for Angelman syndrome; however, several symptoms of this disorder can be reversed in adult animal models of Angelman syndrome, suggesting that improvement of symptoms can potentially be achieved at any age.
Biorasi is a customer-focused, full-service, contract research organization (CRO) that leverages speed and agility in the execution of clinical trials to maximize speed-to-market for its sponsors – all powered by our proprietary TALOS™ project management system. Biorasi is a leader in neurology, nephrology, dermatology, oncology, and the emerging digital therapeutics market. To learn more, contact Biorasi at [email protected] / (786) 388-0700.
Adam Gottlieb (954) 410-3654 [email protected]