Afraxis is discovering and developing drugs to treat diseases of the central nervous system, including schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, Fragile X syndrome and autism spectrum disorders. Recent scientific discoveries have linked these disorders to underlying defects in the development and function of specialized structures of the neural synapse, called dendritic spines. Afraxis is leveraging this discovery to develop drug treatments that control dendritic spine function. The company’s lead program targets PAK, a protein that regulates the development and activity of dendritic spines, creating therapies that actually modify the disease rather than just treat symptoms. Modifying the disease produces beneficial changes at the cellular and behavioral level, creating new hope for patients.