Clinical Trial in San Diego – African Sleeping Sickness treatment could treat autism



San Diego,CA – A new study to test whether African Sleeping Sickness treatment suramin can treat autism is about to be completed at the University of California’s San Diego School of Medicine. The phase 1 clinical trial will be lead by Robert K. Naviauk and will include 20 boys with autism between the ages of 4-17.

Boys must have an official autism diagnoses from a qualified psychiatrist and physician and must not have any a known genetic cause of mutation such as fragile X syndrome or take any prescription medications.

Half of the clinical participants will get an injection of suramin, while the other half with a placebo injection of saline infusion. Both groups will undergo blood, urine, and behavioral testing before and after treatment.

Naviauk told news outlet that:

“We’re trying to see if suramin helps to bring down some of those barriers so that children can engage in natural play and practice the basic skills of social interaction.”

But he later noted that the drug is naturally toxic to humans and shouldn’t be administered after the trial is over.

Naviauk told news outlet Business Standard that:

“However, if the study is successful, they may be eligible for the next suramin study.”

San Diego parents interested participating in the clinical trail should contact Jeanne Townsend at or by phone at 858-246-1932.

Sources: David Wagner on the KPBS news website: San Diego Autism Researchers Are Testing A New Use For An Old Drug
Business Standard website: Clinical trial for autism treatment launched in US