New drugs to treat mental health disorders
EUROSTARS; DiSARM FEAR (grant number 01QE1930):
Duration: 2019-2022 | Grants awarded: € 2,425,518, of which Endotherm received: € 357,481
Anxiety disorders, including PTSD, are among the most common diseases in Europe and the USA. Due to misdiagnosis, lack of psychotherapists, and ineffective drugs, they often cannot be adequately treated. The project aims to develop a new drug candidate for the treatment of PTSD. This should be superior to existing drugs in terms of efficacy and undesirable side effects such as dependence, nausea, sedation, and sexual dysfunction.
As a therapeutic rationale, modulation of the so-called metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 (mGluR7) by negative allosteric modulators should achieve the desired therapeutic effect.
Preliminary work by a project partner (Addex Pharma SA, Geneva, Switzerland) has already identified a significant number of suitable small molecules (hits) that, after appropriate further development, could be considered as therapeutics against PTSD. These compounds are to be improved by Endotherm Life Science Molecules in terms of their potency, selectivity, and bioavailability through chemical structure modifications in several iterative rounds of synthesis and testing (hit-to-lead studies) until a lead structure is found.
In the second step, this lead structure will be further optimized, along with the development of an efficient synthesis procedure for upscaling, and characterized in appropriate in vivo animal models available at the project partners. Finally, a drug candidate is to be developed with high efficacy and low toxicity as well as an acceptable side effect profile to enable entry into clinical studies.