SAGE Therapeutics, a Cambridge company seeking to develop medicines to treat central nervous disorders, said Wednesday that it has been awarded a National Institutes of Health grant that will support a drug candidate that could be used to treat anxiety and social deficits in patients with Fragile X Syndrome, or FXS.
FXS is a monogenic form of autism and an orphan condition causing significant behavioral impairments, such as anxiety and social phobia, and cognitive deficits.
The award could be worth up to $10 million, the company said.
“The vast majority of patients with Fragile X suffer from debilitating fear, anxiety and social dysfunction, and there are no approved drugs for this devastating condition,’’ Kevin Starr, interim chief executive of SAGE Therapeutics, said in a statement. “There is hope that in developing treatments for a monogenic form of autism like Fragile X, we may be able to make significant advances toward developing treatments for other forms of autism.’’