$100K Donor-matching Grant Announced to Find Fragile X Treatments

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by Mary Chapman |

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To help find new fragile X treatments, the Robert & Ardis James Foundation has presented the Fraxa Research Foundation with a donor-matching challenge of up to $100,000.

All funds raised will go toward research to develop therapies, and ultimately a cure, for fragile X, a genetic condition associated with cognitive impairment and learning and behavioral challenges. Current treatment is generally aimed at easing symptoms — especially the behavioral and mental health aspects — and to improve life quality.

The James Foundation will match the entire gift of first-time donors. For donors who contributed last year, it will match every dollar donated this year above that gift.

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“Armed with this generous grant from the Robert & Ardis James Foundation, we can now increase the size of the FRAXA research fellowships we offer to over $100,000 over two years, and this will help us bring top new talent to Fragile X research,” said Katie Clapp, Fraxa president and co-founder, in the press release.

The matching challenge came about after siblings Ralph and Cathy James, longtime supporters of numerous nonprofit organizations and educational institutions through their family foundation, were introduced to Fraxa by William (Ted) Truscott, a fragile X advocate and Fraxa supporter. According to the press release, the Jameses were impressed by what Ralph James viewed as “thoughtful, well-executed philanthropy at work.”

The Fraxa Research Foundation for more than 25 years has funded research globally to find better treatments and a cure for fragile X. The organization frequently collaborates with biomedical and pharmaceutical companies to narrow the chasm between treatment candidates and actual therapies.

“The FRAXA community is grateful to, and energized by, people like Cathy James, Ralph James, and Ted Truscott who — while not personally impacted by Fragile X — understand that the work we do now will also advance treatments for individuals who live with autism and intellectual disabilities beyond Fragile X syndrome,” the press release states. “This trust and understanding is what drives us to succeed.”

Fragile X is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders. The condition is estimated to affect 1 in 4,000 males and 1 in 8,000 females.