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Afraxis, Inc

San Diego, California, US

Afraxis Inc. is a contract research organization (CRO) specializing in:

  • CNS preclinical efficacy evaluations (in vivo & in vitro)
  • Neurotoxicity evaluations
  • Structure-Efficacy Relationship (SER) medicinal chemistry

The patent-pending Afraxis ESP (Enhanced Spine Platform) technology produces a rapid, high-information read-out of synaptic networks from whole brain or other tissue preparations. The process incorporates (a) specialized labeling of individual neurons, (b) laser-scanning microscopy, (c) rapid and high-detail morphometry of individual synapses, and (d) novel powerful statistical methods tailored for big data analyses. The Afraxis ESP platform was first developed within the original Afraxis, Inc. (now Afraxis Holdings), a company founded in 2007 to develop novel therapeutics for Fragile-X Syndrome (FXS) based on the work of Nobel laureate Susumu Tonegawa. The ESP technology was developed... Show more »

Afraxis Inc. is a contract research organization (CRO) specializing in:

  • CNS preclinical efficacy evaluations (in vivo & in vitro)
  • Neurotoxicity evaluations
  • Structure-Efficacy Relationship (SER) medicinal chemistry

The patent-pending Afraxis ESP (Enhanced Spine Platform) technology produces a rapid, high-information read-out of synaptic networks from whole brain or other tissue preparations. The process incorporates (a) specialized labeling of individual neurons, (b) laser-scanning microscopy, (c) rapid and high-detail morphometry of individual synapses, and (d) novel powerful statistical methods tailored for big data analyses. The Afraxis ESP platform was first developed within the original Afraxis, Inc. (now Afraxis Holdings), a company founded in 2007 to develop novel therapeutics for Fragile-X Syndrome (FXS) based on the work of Nobel laureate Susumu Tonegawa. The ESP technology was developed originally to solve an unmet need in Fragile-X drug discovery: the lack of a rapid tool to evaluate test compounds against dendritic spine abnormalities, the hallmark neuorbiological phenotype of FXS observed in both humans and rodent models. Considering the broad reach of dendritic spine abnormalitiies throughout CNS diseases, the tool was immediately applicable for other indications. The current Afraxis, Inc. was founded in April 2013 as a spin-out company by Christopher Rex and Carmine Stengone to develop the core ESP technology and drug discovery services.

Publications

  • Waworuntu RV, Hanania T, Boikess SR, Rex CS, Berg BM. Early life diet containing prebiotics and bioactive whey protein fractions increased dendritic spine density of rat hippocampal neurons. Int J Dev Neurosci. 2016 Sep 4;55:28-33.
  • Ndubaku CO, Crawford JJ, Drobnick J, Aliagas I, Campbell D, Dong P, Dornan LM, Duron S, Epler J, Gazzard L, Heise CE, Hoeflich KP, Jakubiak D, La H, Lee W, Lin B, Lyssikatos JP, Maksimoska J, Marmorstein R, Murray LJ, O'Brien T, Oh A, Ramaswamy S, Wang W, Zhao X, Zhong Y, Blackwood E, Rudolph J. Design of Selective PAK1 Inhibitor G-5555: Improving Properties by Employing an Unorthodox Low-pK a Polar Moiety. ACS Med Chem Lett. 2015 Oct 31;6(12):1241-6.
  • Burgdorf J, Zhang XL, Weiss C, Gross A, Boikess SR, Kroes RA, Khan MA, Burch RM, Rex CS, Disterhoft JF, Stanton PK, Moskal JR. The long-lasting antidepressant effects of rapastinel (GLYX-13) are associated with a metaplasticity process in the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Neuroscience. 2015 Nov 12;308:202-11.
  • Ong CC, Gierke S, Pitt C, Sagolla M, Cheng CK, Zhou W, Jubb AM, Strickland L, Schmidt M, Duron SG, Campbell DA, Zheng W, Dehdashti S, Shen M, Yang N, Behnke ML, Huang W, McKew JC, Chernoff J, Forrest WF, Haverty PM, Chin SF, Rakha EA, Green AR, Ellis IO, Caldas C, O'Brien T, Friedman LS, Koeppen H, Rudolph J, Hoeflich KP. Small molecule inhibition of group I p21-activated kinases in breast cancer induces apoptosis and potentiates the activity of microtubule stabilizing agents. Breast Cancer Res. 2015 Apr 23;17:59.
  • Chow HY, Dong B, Duron SG, Campbell DA, Ong CC, Hoeflich KP, Chang LS, Welling DB, Yang ZJ, Chernoff J. Group I Paks as therapeutic targets in NF2-deficient meningioma. Oncotarget. 2015 Feb 10;6(4):1981-94.
  • Ota KT, Liu RJ, Voleti B, Maldonado-Aviles JG, Duric V, Iwata M, Dutheil S, Duman C, Boikess S, Lewis DA, Stockmeier CA, DiLeone RJ, Rex C, Aghajanian GK, Duman RS. REDD1 is essential for stress-induced synaptic loss and depressive behavior. Nat Med. 2014 May;20(5):531-5.
  • Durón SG, Lindstrom A, Bonnefous C, Zhang H, Chen X, Symons KT, Sablad M, Rozenkrants N, Zhang Y, Wang L, Yazdani N, Shiau AK, Noble SA, Rix P, Rao TS, Hassig CA, Smith ND. Heteroaromatic-aminomethyl quinolones: potent and selective iNOS inhibitors. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2012 Jan 15;22(2):1237-41.
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Afraxis, Inc has not listed any services.

Dendritic Spine Analysis
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Dendritic spines are protrusions that emerge from dendrites and house the postsynaptic signaling machinery at the vast majority of excitatory synapses. With a quick glance at a segment of dendrite, one can easily note a diversity of spine morphological phenotypes – short, fat, long, thin. The dimensions of a spine’s key... Show more »

Dendritic spines are protrusions that emerge from dendrites and house the postsynaptic signaling machinery at the vast majority of excitatory synapses. With a quick glance at a segment of dendrite, one can easily note a diversity of spine morphological phenotypes – short, fat, long, thin. The dimensions of a spine’s key morphological features, it turns out, strongly predict the (a) size of the postsynaptic density, (b) the number of inserted glutamate receptors at the synapses, and (c) excitatory neurotransmission of that spine.

We can therefore measure individual spine structural features to estimate its individual contribution to its local synaptic network.

Furthermore, synaptic plasticity (i.e. long-term potentiation) requires dynamic dendritic spine cytoskeletal processes for its expression and fine-tuning – far from a simple relationship to synaptic function, dendritic spine morphology is a fundamental biomarker of synaptic efficacy.

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Image Analysis
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Super Resolution Microscopy
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Superresolution microscopy opens the door to incredible high-content analysis (HCA) capabilities. Enhanced pixel density is critical for accurate object recognition algorithms. Combine with Afraxis’s patented observer-automation hybrid platform to produce striking accuracy and speed in complex morphology analyses

Superresolution microscopy opens the door to incredible high-content analysis (HCA) capabilities. Enhanced pixel density is critical for accurate object recognition algorithms. Combine with Afraxis’s patented observer-automation hybrid platform to produce striking accuracy and speed in complex morphology analyses

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Preclinical Histology
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CNS Histology

CNS Histology

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Video Microscopy Analysis
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Biology
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Cells and Tissues
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Neuroscience
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Imaging & Spectroscopy
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Microscopy
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Optical Microscopy
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Computational Modeling
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Data Services
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