Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Develop Drug-Like Molecules to Improve Schizophrenia Treatment

23.09.2011
Researchers at Vanderbilt University have identified chemical compounds that could lead to a major advance in the treatment of schizophrenia.

In a transaction announced this week, Vanderbilt has licensed the compounds to Karuna Pharmaceuticals in Boston, Mass., for further development leading to human testing.

All current anti-psychotic medications act by binding to serotonin and dopamine receptors in the brain to help control hallucinations and delusions, but they provide little relief of other serious symptoms, including social withdrawal and the inability to pay attention or make decisions. As a result, many patients have difficulty holding a job or living independently. In addition, current drugs have serious side effects.

The new Vanderbilt compounds work in a fundamentally different way than existing medications, by inhibiting glycine transporter one (GlyT1), an action that allows for more normal function of brain cells involved in schizophrenia.

“The potential of these new compounds to ameliorate the devastating social and cognitive deficits of schizophrenia, which do not respond to currently available medications, is very exciting,” said National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D.

The novel compounds were developed by Jeffrey Conn, Ph.D., and Craig Lindsley, Ph.D., co-directors of the Vanderbilt Center for Neuroscience Drug Discovery (VCNDD), and their colleagues in the VCNDD, part of Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to partner with VCNDD to help these drugs realize their full potential, to bring a valuable new treatment to patients and families suffering with this disabling disease,” commented Karuna CEO Edmund Harrigan, Ph.D., former executive vice president of Worldwide Business Development at Pfizer.

Schizophrenia is a chronic disabling mental illness that affects more than 3 million Americans according to the NIMH, and 24 million people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The worldwide market for antipsychotic drugs exceeds $20 billion a year.

The Vanderbilt GlyT1 inhibitors were discovered and developed with support from the NIMH, which in 2010 awarded Vanderbilt a five-year, $10 million grant to establish a National Cooperative Drug Discovery and Development Group, targeting new schizophrenia therapies.

The work is now sufficiently far enough along to hand off to Karuna Pharmaceuticals, a Boston- based company focused on developing breakthrough therapies for schizophrenia.

Conn and Lindsley’s colleagues in the Vanderbilt Center For Neuroscience Drug Discovery on the schizophrenia program include Carrie Jones, Ph.D., the center’s director of in vivo pharmacology; Colleen Niswender, Ph.D., director of molecular pharmacology; and J. Scott Daniels, Ph.D., director of drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics.

It can cost over a billion dollars to bring a drug to market. Cuts in health care reimbursement for medications could make it even more difficult for pharmaceutical companies to recoup that investment. Some firms already are downsizing their research operations as patent protection ends for some of their best-selling brand name products.

That’s where academic medical centers can help. Vanderbilt is uniquely positioned to undertake early stage drug discovery, in part because of its strength in clinical pharmacology, its investment in research infrastructure including high-throughput screening, its ability to attract government, foundation and corporate support and its recruitment of top-notch scientists.

“This work shows how publicly funded basic research can foster the identification of novel medication targets and promising candidate compounds that industry can then take forward,” Insel said. “It is a wonderful example of translational research with the potential to change lives.”

Bill Snyder | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.vanderbilt.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Modern genetic sequencing tools give clearer picture of how corals are related
17.08.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>