THE FIRST ZEBRAFISH MODEL IN EPILEPSY
Our Co-Founder Scott Baraban, Ph.D. began his work on zebrafish epilepsy models at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 2001. At that time animal models for epilepsy were largely limited to rodents, and primarily acute induced seizure models. Rodent models are difficult to breed in large numbers, primarily restricted to acute induced seizures, and strongly influenced by background strain genetics. Zebrafish, a small vertebrate model, represented a unique alternative for genetic manipulation and rapid, large-scale in vivo drug screening. The Baraban laboratory published the first-ever zebrafish epilepsy model in Neuroscience in 2005.
ZEBRAFISH PLATFORM ADVANCEMENTS & DRUG DISCOVERY
Building upon early foundations, the Baraban laboratory made sequential ground-breaking discoveries that unlocked the zebrafish platform’s potential for drug discovery. The first-ever genetic zebrafish model representing Dravet Syndrome was published in Nature Communications in 2013. Using this model, a high-throughput, phenotype-based platform suitable for drug screening led to the initial discovery of EPX-100. Additional research led to the discoveries of EPX-100 analogs, EPX-200, and EPX-300. Using CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology, recent ground-breaking work published by the Baraban laboratory in Nature Communications Biology described generation of 37 new zebrafish lines representing rare genetic epilepsies. Thus, greatly expanding the applicability of the zebrafish platform.
BUILDING A BIOTECH TO SERVE PATIENTS
Realizing that the zebrafish platform could bring important therapies to epilepsy patients in urgent need, Hahn-Jun Lee, M.Sc., Ph.D., Scott C. Baraban, Ph.D., and other co-founders of Epygenix teamed up in 2016 to develop these drug candidates for clinical application. In only a few short years, the Epygenix team accomplished preclinical development, IND-enabling studies, and Orphan Drug and Rare Pediatric Disease Designations with the EPX series of drug candidates. Our therapies are now in clinical trials for multiple rare genetic epilepsies.
OUR WORK TODAY
Epygenix is committed to rapidly advancing the EPX series of drug candidates in the clinic for effective seizure control and improved quality of life. We continue to partner with top scientists and clinicians to identify transformative therapies; and leading biopharmaceutical companies to bring EPX drugs to patients. Our goal is a future with personalized drug therapies for all rare genetic epilepsies.
DISCLOSURE: THE ZEBRAFISH PLATFORM WAS DEVELOPED IN THE BARABAN LABORATORY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO (UCSF). EPYGENIX HAS LICENSED SPECIFIC DRUG CANDIDATES AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY DISCOVERED BY THE AFOREMENTIONED PLATFORM AT UCSF.