Roche Eureka Moment on Disorder May Aid Autism Probe
Posted Sep 19 2009 12:00am
Sept. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Researcher Luca Santarelli wasn’t sure what do to with an experimental medicine developed in the labs of his employer, Roche Holding AG, until a 2007 meeting with a concerned father led to a “Eureka moment.”
Mike Tranfaglia, whose son has the rare brain disorder Fragile X syndrome, met Santarelli to present new research linking the disease to a chemical in the brain that may also play a role in Alzheimer’s and autism. Santarelli, 41, says this made him see how the experimental drug could be used to treat Fragile X, the most common inherited form of retardation. Roche may test the pill in patients this year.
“In one hour the whole relevant literature is presented to you and you come away with a gut feeling that this could work out,” Santarelli, Roche’s head of central nervous system exploratory development, said in an interview. “For a scientist, a Eureka moment is why we live and do this job. You have very few, but that was one of them.” Read the full article at Bloomberg.com