Allow us to introduce the host of the show, Dr. Stanley Crooke, a scientist, physician, entrepreneur and the father of antisense technology. Dr. Crooke is responsible for driving the development of antisense or ASO technology, an RNA-targeted technology responsible for the commercialization of three first-in class medicines and more than 40 drugs currently in development. In 2020, Stan formed n-Lorem to use this powerful technology to develop personalized ASO medicines for nano-rare patients (1 to 30 patients worldwide) for free, for life.
In today’s episode, Stan is joined by Luke Rosen and Dr. Wendy Chung to talk about Susannah’s journey and fight against KIF1A. Shortly after Susannah was born, Luke and his wife Sally saw abnormalities in their daughter and knew something was extremely wrong. She was later diagnosed with a debilitating nano-rare disease called KIF1A. Luke was horrified of his daughter’s diagnosis because of frightening language, such as ‘early death’, that was included within the extremely minimal literature available for his daughter’s nano-rare genetic mutation. It was hard for him to digest and absolutely heartbreaking for the entire family. Scared and confused, the Rosen family was directed towards Dr. Wendy Chung to articulate exactly what was going on with their daughter’s health. Upon caring for Susannah while guiding and comforting the Rosen family, Dr. Chung submitted an application for Susannah to n-Lorem for her to receive a personalized experimental medicine for free, for life, in the hopes that it will potentially reduce the severity of her hardships.
As Susannah has aged, her symptoms have progressively gotten worse. She has regular seizures, weak muscles cause her to lose balance and severely injure herself, and she struggles with cognition. Because of this, she is rarely able to attend a full day of school without problems and there is a constant unknown about what tomorrow will have in store for her. Dr. Chung heavy-heartedly conveys that Susannah has tightness and burning sensations in her hands and feet that never completely go away and is losing her eyesight at age 7. At such a young age, Susannah’s life is hard and she has many things working against her, especially the clock.
Dr. Chung expresses that n-Lorem developing Susannah’s personalized medicine is no small task. It needs to be developed in a way that suppresses the bad KIF1A protein but still allows for the development of necessary good protein. However, Wendy and Stan are convinced that with the years of experience the n-Lorem team brings and with the advancement in technology, that n-Lorem is on the right track toward providing her with a quality personalized medicine. To Luke and his family, n-Lorem is a sign of hope may potentially change the course of Susannah’s life.
UPDATE: Susannah received her first dose of a personalized experimental ASO medicine in October 2022. This medicine was discovered and developed for her unique gene mutation.