The following is a letter initiated by Kay Persons, one of the GM1 sheep producers. Feel free to use it to help move the project forward to help HD families and other families afflicted with neurologic diseases.
I need your help. I have several friends and relatives who have suffered from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and Huntington’s Disease. Scientists in South Dakota, Larry Holler, DVM, PhD and Sue Holler, MS, have worked for years trying to get a sheep source of GM1 ganglioside to clinical trials. GM1 ganglioside is a naturally occurring molecule that has been shown to have neuroprotective and neuroregenerative properties. A cow source of GM1 has been in clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury. More recently, research evaluating GM1 for Huntington’s disease has shown reversal of symptoms in Huntington’s disease mice. New research with this sheep product is showing promising results for Alzheimer’s. The previously used cow source is not allowable by FDA due to Mad Cow Disease and the lack of traceability for this unverified source of GM1 for human medicine. The sheep source of GM1 is not only verifiable but naturally produced in much greater quantities than the cow source. The Holler’s are collaborating with Dr. Steven Hersch, MD, PhD at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School to secure funding through NIH NINDS IGNITE for the preclinical data that FDA requires.
There is nationwide interest in this project, especially from Congressman Fred Upton in Michigan in relation to the 21st Century Cures Act and some of his constituents who are cooperators on this project. Dr. Heather and Mike Ludlam of Hopkins, MI were highlighted in regards to this project and the potential it has for those suffering from brain disorders https://energycommerce.house.gov/news-center/press-releases/path2cures-sheep-windswept-farms. For more information see www.glycoscienceresearch.com or the grass roots non-profit started by Huntington’s families www.theshepherdsgift.org.
Here is where your help is needed. Those of us who are so anxious for relief for patients of these neurological diseases need to have you urge the NIH to support this study. The status of this grant proposal, Ovine GM1 Ganglioside Development for Huntington’s Disease, that was submitted in February, should be determined by this summer. Time is of the essence to move forward with the preclinical data so the clinical trials can be started.
On behalf of the countless number of people suffering from these diseases, thank you for your time and effort.