Redwood Credit Union Named One of “America’s Best Credit Unions” By Newsweek

Redwood Credit Union has been recognized by Newsweek as one of “America’s Best Credit Unions 2024.” Newsweek’s inaugural study analyzed the financial health, operational performance, and customer evaluations of nearly 4,800 regional credit unions across the U.S. to identify the best 250. RCU ranked in the top 10 of California-based credit unions.

“We’re honored to be recognized by Newsweek as one of the country’s most stable, secure, and trusted credit unions,” said Brett Martinez, President and CEO of Redwood Credit Union. “Their comprehensive analysis confirms that by passionately serving the best interests of our members and helping them achieve their goals and dreams, we can inspire hope and elevate the financial well-being of our communities.”

Newsweek’s Global Editor-in-Chief Nancy Cooper said, “Regional banks and credit unions play a pivotal role in the financial fabric of communities nationwide. Unlike their larger counterparts, these institutions are deeply rooted in local economies, understanding the unique needs of the people they serve. These institutions prove that a community-centered approach can redefine the banking experience.”

For the first time, Newsweek conducted an extensive study, in partnership with market data research firm Plant-A Insights Group, to determine America’s Best Regional Banks and Credit Unions 2024. They used a rigorous scoring model to analyze the overall health and stability of 9,440 regional financial institutions nationwide to identify the best 250 regional banks and the best 250 credit unions.

In addition to this accolade from Newsweek, RCU has been voted “Best Credit Union” in readers’ polls by several publications throughout Northern California, and has been recognized by Forbes as one of “America’s Best Small Employers 2023” and highly recommended as a top place to work.

About Redwood Credit Union
Founded in 1950, Redwood Credit Union is a full-service financial institution providing personal and business banking to consumers and businesses in the North Bay and San Francisco. With a mission to passionately serve the best interests of its Members, team members, and communities, RCU delivers many ways for its Members to save and build money through checking and savings accounts, auto and home loans, credit cards, digital banking, business services, commercial and SBA lending, and more. Wealth management and investment services are available through CUSO Financial Services L.P., and insurance and auto-purchasing services are also offered through RCU Services Group (RCU’s wholly owned subsidiary). RCU has more than $8 billion in assets and serves more than 450,000 members with full-service branches from San Francisco to Ukiah. For more information, call 1 (800) 479-7928, visit redwoodcu.org, or follow RCU on Facebook, Instagram, X, and LinkedIn for news and updates.

Midstate Construction Completes St. Clare at Capitol Park (formerly Capitol Park Hotel)

General Contractor Midstate Construction Corporation and Developer Mercy Housing recently completed the St. Clare at Capitol Park (formerly Capitol Park Hotel), renovating a historic 112-year-old hotel into 134 units of permanent supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness in Sacramento, CA.

Designed by Page & Turnbull, the St. Clare at Capitol Park scope of work included substantial seismic upgrades; extensive structural repairs; two elevator replacements; complete mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire sprinkler system replacement; historical preservation; site and accessibility improvements, and conversion of existing hotel rooms to 134 studio apartments with full bathrooms, kitchenettes, and new interior finishes. Sixty-five units are reserved for people experiencing homelessness and living with a serious mental illness. All residents will receive case management and behavioral health services from service partners Telecare (via Sacramento County) or WellSpace Health.

Structural improvements were designed by Miyamoto International and performed by The Conco Companies. The structural scope of work included 1,038 cubic yards of shotcrete shear walls, 157 cubic yards of footings, and 540 cubic yards of ConFoam. The shotcrete shear walls were installed from the basement to the roof on perimeter un-reinforced masonry walls. In addition to the shotcrete walls, Spira-Lok Helical Wall Ties and Prosoco Stitch Ties were installed into the un-reinforced masonry walls to seismically affix the historic brick to the structure.

Additional features include four ground floor retail spaces, meeting spaces, community gathering rooms, offices for caseworkers to meet with clients, basement bicycle storage, and laundry facilities.

Midstate’s additional projects for people experiencing homelessness include:

  • Valley Lodge, a 54-unit motel conversion in Napa, CA
  • Studios at Montero, a 60-unit motel conversion in Petaluma, CA
  • Shasta Hotel, a 79-unit hotel conversion in Sacramento, CA
  • Mary Isaak Center, an emergency shelter for adults experiencing homelessness in Petaluma, CA

Coming soon:

  • The Sequoia Hotel, an 89-unit historic hotel conversion in Sacramento, CA

Santa Rosa Cannery, a 129-unit project with 33 units set-aside for formerly homeless families in Santa Rosa, CA

Recology’s New $35 million Santa Rosa Recycling Facility Claims 166% Increase in Trash Sorting Rate

Recology, which picks up garbage, recyclables and yard waste in parts of Sonoma, Marin, Napa and Solano counties, on Thursday gave its first look at $35 million in upgrades to its sorting facility in southwest Santa Rosa.

The new automated equipment now allows virtually the same team at the 80,000-square-foot materials recovery facility at 3417 Standish Ave. to move through 166% more waste picked up from blue curbside carts and bins and increase the discovery of waste that’s more valuable to sell than bury in a landfill, according to the San Francisco-based company.

The maker of the equipment, Machinex, called it one of the highest capacity recovery systems on the West Coast.

From being able to pick through 150 tons of mixed materials a day for the salable plastics, paper and metals, the 35 full-time sorters, mechanics and lift-equipment operators now can handle 400 tons daily.

And the amount of plastics, metals, paper and cardboard that have been recovered from the trash increased to 85%, from 75% before the new system first went into use in November after a 10-month installation.

“The value of the MeRF is in not having the material shipped to another MeRF,” said Logan Harvey, senior general manager of Recology Sonoma Marin, referring to the common moniker for these facilities.

Other sorting facilities in the North Bay include C&S Waste Solutions in Ukiah and Recology’s Vallejo plant. The company has its largest sorting facility, at 200,000 square feet, on Pier 96 in San Francsico and a smaller facility in the South Bay.

What’s made the increases in sorting capacity and diversion from landfills possible at the Santa Rosa plant are a system of large machines that detect the type of material and sort it.

The trash first goes through a process that allows human sorters to pull out items that would damage the machines, namely “tanglers” such as hoses and plastic film, and large metal items such as brake pads.

But among the dangers lurking in the incoming recyclables are hypodermic needles, and each worker can stop the line to carefully remove and store these items.

“One thing people don’t realize is that recycling goes through human hands,” Harvey said.

The materials travel from machine to machine through the facility via 109 conveyor belts that total 1.58 miles in length. One device separates out two-dimensional products such as cardboard and paper. Seven optical sorting units employ infrared cameras to detect types of material, somewhat similar to optical sorters used to distinguish grapes from “material other than grape” during harvest at wineries.

The plant’s optical sorters even distinguish different kinds of plastic, and use specifically timed blasts of air to blow away contaminants such as plastic food films. A last pass by human sorters checks for valuable plastics that made it past the sorters.

Then the stream goes into units that use strong magnets and other electro-magnetic fields to pull out tin cans and aluminum items, the latter of which bring the highest value for sale to buyers of materials in bulk.

“Our goal is to get it as clean as possible,” Harvey said.

That’s because the fewer contaminants in the 200-plus large bales of materials the plant turns out daily, the more highly Recology is regarded by buyers of such materials, Harvey said.

“We’re selling the building blocks of the economy,” Harvey said.

Recology acquired the Santa Rosa facility when it purchased Ratto Group’s garbage operations in 2017. Ratto had undertaken $8 million in upgrades to the Standish facility and claimed it could achieve sorting of 500 tons a day.

Harvey said that goal wasn’t possible with the system before the latest upgrades.

https://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/article/article/new-35-million-santa-rosa-recycling-facility-claims-166-increase-in-trash/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=nbbj_breaking&pupeml=218036

Ultragenyx Announces Completion of Dosing Across Stage 1 Cohorts in Pivotal Phase 1/2/3 Cyprus2+ Study Evaluating UX701 Gene Therapy for the Treatment of Wilson Disease

Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: RARE) today announced that all patients have been dosed with UX701 across the three dose-escalation cohorts in Stage 1 of its pivotal Phase 1/2/3 Cyprus2+ study. The company’s investigational AAV9 gene therapy is designed to deliver stable expression of the ATP7B copper transporter following a single intravenous infusion, with the goal of normalizing copper metabolism in patients with Wilson disease.

“With the support of patients, physicians and the Wilson disease community, we’ve completed Stage 1 enrollment in the Cyprus2+ program, which moves us one step closer to beginning Stage 2, the pivotal, randomized placebo-controlled stage of the study,” said Eric Crombez, M.D., chief medical officer at Ultragenyx. “Beyond the seamless nature of this study, another important differentiator of this program is that it leverages our Pinnacle PCL™ platform, which enabled a single run to support Stage 1, demonstrating that the productivity improvements generated by our platform are able to support larger-scale clinical programs.”

Data presented in October 2023 at a Company Analyst Day demonstrated that UX701 has been well tolerated in the first dose cohort, with no unexpected related treatment emergent adverse events observed as of the data cut-off date. Four of five patients enrolled in Cohort 1 had started tapering standard-of-care treatment, including two that came completely off of chelators and/or zinc therapy. Additional interim data from all three Stage 1 dose cohorts are expected in the first half of 2024, which will be followed by dose selection and initiation of Stage 2 in the second half of 2024.

U.S. residents can learn more by visiting www.ultraclinicaltrials.com.

Phase 1/2/3 Cyprus2+ study design
This study evaluating UX701 for the potential treatment of Wilson disease is designed with three stages. During the first stage, the safety and efficacy of up to three dose levels of UX701 will be evaluated over the course of 52 weeks and a dose will be selected for further evaluation in Stage 2. In this first stage, 15 patients were enrolled into three sequential dosing cohorts to evaluate doses of 5.0 x 10^12 GC/kg, 1.0 x 10^13 GC/kg, and 2.0 x 10^13 GC/kg.

In Stage 2, a new cohort of patients will be randomized 2:1 to receive the selected dose of UX701 or placebo. The primary safety and efficacy analyses will be conducted at Week 52 of Stage 2. The primary efficacy endpoints are change in 24-hour urinary copper concentration and percent reduction in standard-of-care medication by Week 52. After the initial 52-week study period, all patients will have long-term follow up in Stage 3.

About Wilson Disease
Wilson disease is a rare inherited disorder caused by mutations in the ATP7B gene, which results in deficient production of ATP7B, a protein that transports copper. Loss of function of this copper-binding protein results in the accumulation of copper in the liver and other tissues, most notably the central nervous system, and failure to properly distribute copper by ceruloplasmin. Patients with Wilson disease experience hepatic, neurologic and/or psychiatric problems. Those with liver disease can experience such symptoms as fatigue, lack of appetite, abdominal pain and jaundice, and can progress to fibrosis, cirrhosis, life-threatening liver failure and death. Wilson disease can be treated by reducing copper absorption or removing excess copper from the body using life-long chelation therapy, but unmet needs exist because some treated patients experience clinical deterioration and severe side effects. Wilson disease affects more than 50,000 individuals in the developed world.

About UX701
UX701 is an investigational AAV9 gene therapy designed to deliver stable expression of the ATP7B copper transporter following a single intravenous infusion. It has been shown in preclinical studies to normalize copper trafficking and excretion from the body. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Orphan Drug Designation to UX701.

About Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc.
Ultragenyx is a biopharmaceutical company committed to bringing novel products to patients for the treatment of serious rare and ultrarare genetic diseases. The company has built a diverse portfolio of approved therapies and product candidates aimed at addressing diseases with high unmet medical need and clear biology for treatment, for which there are typically no approved therapies treating the underlying disease.

The company is led by a management team experienced in the development and commercialization of rare disease therapeutics. Ultragenyx’s strategy is predicated upon time- and cost-efficient drug development, with the goal of delivering safe and effective therapies to patients with the utmost urgency.

For more information on Ultragenyx, please visit the company’s website at: www.ultragenyx.com.

Ultragenyx Forward-Looking Statements and Use of Digital Media
Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, including statements related to Ultragenyx’s expectations and projections regarding its future operating results and financial performance, business plans and objectives for UX701, expectations regarding the tolerability and safety of UX701, and future clinical and regulatory developments for UX701, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause our clinical development programs, collaboration with third parties, future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainty of clinical drug development and unpredictability and lengthy process for obtaining regulatory approvals, the ability of the company to successfully develop UX701, the company’s ability to achieve its projected development goals in its expected timeframes, risks related to adverse side effects, risks related to reliance on third party partners to conduct certain activities on the company’s behalf, smaller than anticipated market opportunities for the company’s products and product candidates, manufacturing risks, competition from other therapies or products, and other matters that could affect sufficiency of existing cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments to fund operations, the company’s future operating results and financial performance, the timing of clinical trial activities and reporting results from same, and the availability or commercial potential of Ultragenyx’s products and drug candidates. Ultragenyx undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of Ultragenyx in general, see Ultragenyx’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 3, 2023, and its subsequent periodic reports filed with the SEC.

In addition to its SEC filings, press releases and public conference calls, Ultragenyx uses its investor relations website and social media outlets to publish important information about the company, including information that may be deemed material to investors, and to comply with its disclosure obligations under Regulation FD. Financial and other information about Ultragenyx is routinely posted and is accessible on Ultragenyx’s Investor Relations website (https://ir.ultragenyx.com/) and LinkedIn website (https://www.linkedin.com/company/ultragenyx-pharmaceutical-inc-/).

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2024/01/25/2817385/0/en/Ultragenyx-Announces-Completion-of-Dosing-Across-Stage-1-Cohorts-in-Pivotal-Phase-1-2-3-Cyprus2-Study-Evaluating-UX701-Gene-Therapy-for-the-Treatment-of-Wilson-Disease.html

Sonoma State receives $7.9 Million Grant for STEMACES Program to Expand Scope

A $7.9-million grant from the US Department of Education (ED) to Sonoma State University’s STEM and Computing Education Support (STEMACES) program is the result of a decade of success building technology to enable innovative science education and make it accessible to underrepresented students.

STEMACES, which aims to improve middle school student achievement in science and increase the competency of STEM teachers in rural communities, was built on a tech teaching platform funded by two early-phase ED grants.

“Scientists are reliant on technology, and we realized that students needed to know technology to pursue science themselves,” said Dr. Lynn Cominsky, director and founder of SSU’s EdEon STEM Learning, who has been leading the curriculum development and helped procure the funding from the outset.

“The problem was there was no technology made for the classroom that could support our experiments. So for the first five years, the small SSU team built the software themselves,” Cominsky said.

The resulting year-long integrated ninth-grade curriculum, branded as Learning by Making (LbyM), has evidence of success improving grades in science and math. This success allowed the LbyM team to apply for – and secure – next-level ED funding to expand its scope, said Laura Peticolas, SSU EdEon’s Associate Director and Principal Investigator for the $7.9-million grant application.

“With the new funds, we will be able to implement elements of LbyM in eighth-grade classes at 40 schools in California and Texas, potentially reaching thousands more rural and underrepresented students,” Peticolas said.

In 2020, the Web Platform Incubator Community Group released an early version of a way to use browsers to communicate with hardware connected to computers’ USB ports.

“We are now able to support  the curriculum at one-tenth the cost using common laptops. That is key in rural and other underserved areas, where they don’t have tech in their classrooms,” Cominsky said. “Equity is a focus of any program in EdEon.”

STEMACES will use elements from LbyM to test a model for improved student learning in science, specifically in computational thinking. The model includes teacher professional development, ongoing teacher and student support, and an innovative eighth-grade curriculum that meets science standards in California and Texas while teaching coding, electronics, and methods for using sensors.

“We have learned so much by engaging in an iterative process with the ninth-grade curriculum, and plan to create our own testing tools for this phase, involving both teachers and students in the process,” Peticolas said.

“One of the most satisfying results over time has been seeing how many of our LbyM students are pursuing studies in engineering, physics and astronomy, biology and computer science,” Cominsky said.

The successful new proposal represents sustained efforts with key collaborators and advocates including congressional representatives Jared Huffman and Mike Thompson.

Instrumental players in STEMACES proposal planning:

  • Dr. Kenneth Carrell from Angelo State University (plan for scaling the program to rural middle schools in Texas).
  • WestEd’s Dr. Linlin Li and Dr. Jennifer Folsom (plans for research, evaluation, and scaling professional development for a much larger number of rural teachers and schools).

STEMACES recruitment and implementation:

  • Susan Wandling, principal investigator of the first ED grant for LbyM, led the proposal efforts to recruit current and new school districts to join this middle-school initiative;
  • The Redwood Coast K-16 Educational Collaborative (whose aim is to increase pathways to healthcare and education careers) intends to partner in implementing STEMACES. Co-Director Jen Degladillo Bevington (SSU) and Executive Director Angela Shull, (Cal Poly Humboldt) will collaborate with high-need schools and districts in Northern California counties to support recruitment and sustainability goals. They hope to expand efforts to earlier grades and into high schools.

Original Learning by Making team members:

  • The late Dr. Garrett Jernigan invented the original technology platform to initiate inexpensive tools for teaching technical elements of science practices, including coding, electronics, and sensors.
  • Brian Silverman created several initial prototypes of the computer science language used in the Learning by Making program, known as Logo, and continues to support LbyM going forward into the STEMACES program.

https://news.sonoma.edu/article/sonoma-state-receives-79-million-grant-stemaces-program-expand-scope

Sonoma State University and The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (FIGR) Open the Learning Center at Fairfield Osborn Preserve

Posted on LinkedIn, “Greg Sarris, chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, and SSU President Mike Lee cut the ribbon officially marking the opening of The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria (FIGR) Learning Center at Fairfield Osborn Preserve on Tuesday, January 16. Sarris and Lee were joined by more than 50 elected officials, community members, and SSU faculty and staff to celebrate the Center, which doubled its capacity thanks to a $2.8-million gift from FIGR, and now can accommodate two groups simultaneously. At the core of the renovation is a Listening Area, a space dedicated to listening to both each other and the wisdom the environment has to offer.”

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/sonoma-state-university_greg-sarris-chairman-of-the-federated-indians-ugcPost-7153141994112827392-WqI5/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_android

Santa Rosa Junior College’s Public Safety Training Center in Windsor Receives Funds

Simulating the real-life dynamics and behavior of a structure fire is no easy task, especially when your training equipment and facilities are dated and limited.

The no-frills, 3-story training tower at Santa Rosa Junior College’s Public Safety Training Center in Windsor has served its purpose during its 20-year tenure.

But at a time when destructive wildfires are more frequently crossing urban boundaries, proper firefighter instruction requires better training facilities and can mean the difference between life and death.

On Thursday, state Sen. Mike McGuire announced he had secured $1.5 million from the state’s general fund for a new 5-story, state-of-the-art training tower. He said the new tower, along with additional funds, is going to help dramatically increase the number of students going through SRJC’s firefighter academy, already a leader in its field.

SRJC officials welcomed news of the funding.

“I’m incredibly grateful to Sen. McGuire, his commitment to our community and his commitment to the county,” said SRJC President Angélica Garcia.

Garcia said the new tower would provide more complex training opportunities for fire academy students — a special breed who deserve the best education available, she said.

“Really we’re talking about folks who make it their vocation, their calling to save lives,” she said. “That’s actually pretty amazing.”

Ken Sebastiani, director of the SRJC’s fire academy, said the new training tower will provide numerous critical upgrades that will allow students to experience the varied and complex behavior of fire. For one, each floor will have multiple rooms to simulate a greater variety of exercises.

What’s more, the walls within the building will be adjustable to allow changes in the layout of the rooms on each floor, depending on the type of exercise being conducted. That feature can create more challenging exercises, he said.

“You truly want to make it challenging,” Sebastiani said. “When firefighters face dynamic situations (in training), their mind has kind of overcome some of these issues and hurdles.”

He said a firefighter who has been challenged in training can respond more effectively to real-life scenarios they’ll encounter in the future.

Sebastiani added that aside from being taller, the new building will also have a larger footprint that will accommodate more students training at the same time, highlighting the crucial aspect of teamwork in fighting fires.

At five stories, the new training tower will also allow students to get more advanced rescue training, including rope rescue exercises not possible with the existing building, Sebastiani said.

McGuire, D-Healdsburg, who shepherded the $1.5 million earmark, said Thursday he’s been meeting with SRJC fire academy representatives over the past year to discuss the need for more firefighters. Separate funds will bolster the program, he said.

Funds from PG&E’s wildfire settlements will help purchase additional training equipment and cover the cost of additional faculty, he said. Also, funds from Santa Rosa’s Measure H, extended in 2022, will be used to help modernize several buildings at the academy. The quarter-cent public safety tax also applies to services to reduce fire risk.

McGuire said the SRJC Foundation has also “pitched in” funds to grow and improve an academy that is already considered the “gold standard” in the state.

Altogether, the new training tower and additional funds for equipment, faculty and educational programming are expected to increase the number of students going through the program by 150%. The academy, recognized as one of the top in the state, currently graduates about 80 firefighters a year.

“It’s an all-hands-on-deck effort to expand the number of firefighters here in the North Bay and throughout Northern California,” McGuire said. “The need has never been greater and Northern California is so lucky to have the top-ranked fire academy in the state in our own backyard.”

https://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/news/mike-mcguire-secures-1-5-million-for-new-training-tower-at-santa-rosa-juni/

Ultragenyx Announces Completion of Enrollment in Global Phase 1/2 Trial of GTX-102 in Pediatric Patients with Angelman Syndrome

Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. (NASDAQ: RARE), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapies for serious rare and ultrarare genetic diseases, today announced the completion of patient enrollment in its Phase 1/2 clinical trial of GTX-102 for the treatment of pediatric patients with Angelman syndrome (AS). The dose-expansion cohorts (Cohorts A-E) have enrolled 53 patients for a total of 74 patients enrolled globally in the Phase 1/2 trial. GTX-102 is an investigational antisense oligonucleotide delivered via intrathecal administration and is designed to target and inhibit expression of UBE3A antisense transcript (UBE3A-AS).

“With completion of enrollment in the Phase 1/2 trial, we remain on track to report results in the first half of 2024 from at least 20 expansion cohort patients on therapy for a minimum of 6 months. We are confident that the cumulative safety and efficacy data will allow for dose and endpoint selection to support our Phase 3 program,” said Eric Crombez, M.D., chief medical officer at Ultragenyx. “We appreciate the support of the Angelman community, including the patients, families and healthcare providers, as we urgently work together to develop a new treatment option that may be able to improve the quality of life of those impacted by this devastating disease.”

In October 2023, interim data from the extension cohorts (Cohorts 4-7) of the ongoing Phase 1/2 study were announced and showed improvements across multiple domains compared to natural history data, where available, and clinical changes were associated with quantitative changes in EEG. Long-term data showed patients who stopped and restarted treatment reacquired previously gained developmental skills when they were re-dosed with the current regimen. As of the data cut-off, there have been no additional treatment-related SAEs, including lower extremity weakness, since November 2022.

About the Phase 1/2 study

The Phase 1/2, open-label, multiple-dose, dose-escalating study is evaluating the safety and tolerability of GTX-102 administered by intrathecal (IT) injection to pediatric patients with Angelman syndrome with a genetically confirmed diagnosis of full maternal UBE3A gene deletion. The study is also assessing clinical response as measured by a panel of efficacy assessments for the functional domains impacted in Angelman syndrome. Patients in the earlier extension cohorts (Cohorts 4-7) of the study have moved into long-term maintenance dosing, and the study has completed enrollment for the new expansion cohorts to verify the GTX-102 dose range and treatment regimen that will be used in the Phase 3 program.

About Angelman Syndrome

Angelman syndrome is a rare, neurogenetic disorder caused by loss-of-function of the maternally inherited allele of the UBE3A gene. The maternal-specific inheritance pattern of Angelman syndrome is due to genomic imprinting of UBE3A in neurons of the central nervous system (CNS), a naturally occurring phenomenon in which the maternal UBE3A allele is expressed and the paternal UBE3A is not. Silencing of the paternal UBE3A allele is regulated by the UBE3A antisense transcript (UBE3A-AS), the intended target of GTX-102. In almost all cases of Angelman syndrome, the maternal UBE3A allele is either missing or mutated, resulting in limited to no protein expression. This condition is generally not inherited but instead occurs spontaneously. It is estimated to affect 1 in 12,000 to 1 in 20,000 people globally.

Individuals with Angelman syndrome have developmental delay, balance issues, motor impairment, and debilitating seizures. Some individuals with Angelman syndrome are unable to walk and most do not speak. Anxiety and disturbed sleep can be serious challenges in individuals with Angelman syndrome. While individuals with Angelman syndrome have a normal lifespan, they require continuous care and are unable to live independently. Angelman syndrome is not a degenerative disorder, but the loss of the UBE3A protein expression in neurons results in abnormal communications between neurons. Angelman syndrome is often misdiagnosed as autism or cerebral palsy. There are no currently approved therapies for Angelman syndrome; however, several symptoms of this disorder can be reversed in adult animal models of Angelman syndrome suggesting that improvement of symptoms can potentially be achieved at any age.

About GTX-102

GTX-102 is an investigational antisense oligonucleotide delivered via intrathecal administration and designed to target and inhibit expression of UBE3A-AS. Nonclinical studies show that GTX-102 reduces the levels of UBE3A-AS and reactivates expression of the paternal UBE3A allele in neurons of the CNS. Reactivation of paternal UBE3A expression in animal models of Angelman syndrome has been associated with improvements in some of the neurological symptoms associated with the condition. GTX-102 has been granted Orphan Drug Designation, Rare Pediatric Disease Designation, and Fast Track Designation from the FDA.

Ultragenyx Forward-Looking Statements and Use of Digital Media

Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters set forth in this press release, including statements related to Ultragenyx’s expectations and projections regarding its future operating results and financial performance, future clinical and regulatory developments for GTX-102, the clinical benefit, tolerability and safety of GTX-102, timing for enrollment, dosing and data for GTX-102 and the company’s other investigational therapies and regulatory meetings are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the “safe harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause our clinical development programs, collaboration with third parties, future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainty of clinical drug development and unpredictability and lengthy process for obtaining regulatory approvals, the ability of the company to successfully develop GTX-102, the company’s ability to achieve its projected development goals in its expected timeframes, risks related to adverse side effects, risks related to reliance on third-party partners to conduct certain activities on the company’s behalf, the potential for any license or collaboration agreement, smaller than anticipated market opportunities for the company’s products and product candidates, manufacturing risks, competition from other therapies or products and other matters that could affect sufficiency of existing cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments to fund operations, the Company’s future operating results and financial performance, the timing of clinical trial activities and reporting results from same, and the availability or commercial potential of Ultragenyx’s products and product candidates. Ultragenyx undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements.

For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of Ultragenyx in general, see Ultragenyx’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 3, 2023, and its subsequent periodic reports filed with the SEC.

In addition to its SEC filings, press releases and public conference calls, Ultragenyx uses its investor relations website and social media outlets to publish important information about the company, including information that may be deemed material to investors, and to comply with its disclosure obligations under Regulation FD. Financial and other information about Ultragenyx is routinely posted and is accessible on Ultragenyx’s Investor Relations website (https://ir.ultragenyx.com/) and LinkedIn website (https://www.linkedin.com/company/ultragenyx-pharmaceutical-inc-/).

https://ir.ultragenyx.com/news-releases/news-release-details/ultragenyx-announces-completion-enrollment-global-phase-12-trial

Sonoma State University Continues to Strive for Sustainability on Campus

Posted on Sonoma State University’s LinkedIn, ” Making Sonoma State more sustainable. Wondering about the fencing and trucks on campus now? They’re continuing the solar array construction project that’s projected to provide SSU with 4.5 megawatts of renewable solar energy & save an estimated $6 million in utility costs over the next 30 years.”

https://www.linkedin.com/posts/sonoma-state-university_making-sonoma-state-more-sustainable-wondering-activity-7151708533317586944-kBFX/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_android

North Bay Children’s Center’s President & CEO Susan Gilmore Featured in 7 Reasons to Be Encouraged About the Planet Our Children Are Inheriting

While climate change is all around us, and the projections are uniformly grim, there have never been so many local, national and global opportunities to build a sustainable future. Flourishing Children, Healthy Communities and a Stronger Nation: The U.S. Early Years Climate Action Plan gathers the results of a year-long exploration of the implications of climate change for young children.

👉 Download the Early Years Climate Action Plan

The work began as a series of listening sessions that generated the ideas and perspectives in the Action Plan. “As heartbreaking as those stories were, it’s also inspiring to hear the creative solutions and practical ideas that emerged,” said Elizabeth Bechard, senior policy analyst at Moms Clean Air Force, during a virtual launch hosted by Capita’s Ankita Chachra.

Are you searching for inspiration? Here are seven encouraging highlights from the Action Plan:

1.The pandemic showed us how resourceful we can be. On the November 7 Hunt Institute webinar marking the Action Plan’s release, Diana Rauner—president of Start Early, and co-chair of the Early Years Climate Action Task Force—admitted that the planet is stressed and the solutions are underfunded but reminded participants that throughout history, partnerships arise during crises.

For example, the Action Plan describes how, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana-based nonprofit Agenda for Children launched the Rebuild Child Care Collaborative, which pooled private funding for child care centers. In 2021, after Hurricane Ida, the Agenda and the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children jointly distributed over $720,000 to 382 child care centers and family child care providers.

The global Covid pandemic offered plentiful examples of communities banding together; in Louisiana, Agenda for Children facilitated case management and legal advice to help child care centers secure Paycheck Protection Program loans.

2.The child care workforce is finding its voice. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just over 1 million people work in child care in America (far more, if you count all the unpaid labor), and this workforce is dedicated to protecting our nation’s children. At a luncheon discussion exploring the Action Plan held by Capita and the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., Melissa Rooker of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund described child care workers as first responders, and the Action Plan spotlights North Bay Children’s Center, a California child care network with 13 locations that tracked the movements of children and families in the aftermath of the 2017 wildfires, linking them to emergency food and other resources.

“During the climate-related disasters that we’ve experienced over the past several years,” said North Bay’s Susan Gilmore, “The child care industry needs to be seen as essential, and like school districts, child care representatives should be included in the organizational structure of each county’s emergency operations center.”

During the Hunt Institute webinar, Erica Phillips, executive director of the National Association for Family Child Care, said, “While our sector is incredibly diverse, we are here to be allies in the climate planning work.”

3.The business community is engaged. The climate crisis that the experts have long predicted? It’s here. During the virtual launch, Angie Garling of the Low Income Investment Fund recalled a 106° F day in California’s Coachella Valley when the children were kept inside for their own safety.

As Antwanye Ford—president & CEO at Enlightened, Inc., and co-chair of the Early Years Climate Action Task Force—quipped at the Capita-Aspen luncheon, “Long-term becomes now really fast.”

The Action Plan singles out the Greater Seattle Child Care Business Coalition for recognizing the urgency; it supports child care providers by creating opportunities for them to learn about topics like employment law grants management. The coalition seeks greater investments from government and business and has amplified warnings about the impact of extreme heat.

Across the nation, the Inflation Reduction Act is incentivizing green energy solutions, and some observers predict the private sector will undertake even more substantial climate investments of its own accord.

The Action Plan recommends the creation of climate-aware policies and programs for employees with young children, fostering partnerships between businesses and early years facilities to fund essential upgrades, as well as partnering with local communities to build climate-resilient green space and community infrastructure.

4.Government is taking action. While the climate dimensions of the Inflation Reduction Act have received more attention, it is far from the only effort worth noting. In a conversation with Capita’s Joe Waters, Rep. Jennifer McClellan of Virginia, outlined the benefits of the bipartisan Child Care Assistance for Maternal Health Act, which would increase short-term child care access during pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period. (Climate change adversely impacts pregnancy health directly and indirectly.)

Politics also follows public opinion, and sentiment toward climate action is increasing: Three out of four Americans feel they have a “moral obligation” to make the world a better place by addressing climate change not only for their own children and grandchildren but for all children to come. Many state and local governments are recognizing that steps to protect the youngest residents from climate catastrophe are necessary and possible.

At the state level, Action Plan recommendations include the creation of climate leadership roles and breaking down silos through collaborative structures. For example, California’s Child Care and Development Infrastructure Grant Program prioritizes the installation of energy-efficient electric appliances and retrofitting for disaster mitigation. At the local level, the Action Plan cites the work of Climate Mayors and recommends “integrating the perspectives of young children, their families and those who support them.”

During the Hunt Institute webinar, Dr. Rauner demonstrated a line of questioning for conversations with local officials: “What if we looked at our development from the perspective of a smaller person?”

5.Philanthropy is having an impact. U.S. foundations grant more than $105 billion annually, and a recent survey of 188 foundation executives found that more than 60% are funding efforts to address climate change. (Still others are focused on equity, and during the Hunt Institute webinar, Elliot Haspel, senior fellow at Capita—and Early Learning Nation columnist—memorably referred to climate change as an inequity multiplier.)

As impressive as these figures are, there is clearly room to expand these investments and to target them toward efforts that benefit young children and families. The Action Plan’s recommendations for the philanthropic sector include funding work that connects early years and climate change; developing a regular national scorecard on the state of young children and climate change; and supporting communities in efforts that promote healthy development for young children in a changing climate.

6.Children are vulnerable, but they’re also resilient. The word resilience can be a double-edged sword, both complementing people from disinvested communities for their innate strengths and expecting them to bounce back from every hardship and disaster. The Action Plan uses the word 88 times over its 99 pages, referring to climate resilience as well as the children whose future depends on it (see sidebar).

At the Capita-Aspen luncheon, Robert Mayer, KABOOM’s associate director for Public Policy and Advocacy, made the comment that the most subsequent speakers quoted: “Children will be as adaptive as society allows them to be.”

7.The Action Plan is just the start. As Capita and its partner organizations communicate the Plan’s findings and recommendations, the hope is that the dialogue will proliferate wherever decision makers, advocates and activists gather to envision the future—taking inspiration from those with lived experience. “People from disadvantaged communities are already showing the way,” said Haspel at the Capita-Aspen luncheon.

There’s also a lot to learn about adaptation from indigenous communities. During the virtual launch, Alicia Mousseau, vice president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, noted, “Tribal communities have always adapted to things that we’ve never experienced before in our history.”


Two Types of Resilience

Climate resilience is the capability to anticipate, prepare for, respond to and recover from significant multi-hazard climate threats with minimum damage to social well-being, the economy and the environment.”

Resilience (distinct from climate resilience) refers to the ability to overcome serious hardship. Children’s resilience is the result of a combination of protective factors. Neither individual characteristics nor social environments alone are likely to ensure positive outcomes for children who experience prolonged periods of toxic stress. Children build resilience via an interaction between biology and the environments in which they live.”