Addex Therapeutics (SIX: ADXN), a leading company pioneering allosteric modulation-based drug discovery and development, today announced that it will lead a consortium for the development of small-molecule negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) targeting the metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 (mGlu7) as a potential treatment to reduce fear memory in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The project, named DiSARM FEAR, has been awarded a €4.85 million Eurostars grant to cover research activities performed by all participants, including Naason Science (South Korea), Endotherm (Germany), Nucro Technics (Canada) and Radboud University (Netherlands), in addition to Addex.
PTSD is a serious anxiety disorder that can lead to intense fear and anxiety. Current medication is unspecific and ineffective, with a number of side effects. By selectively targeting mGlu7 with NAMs, the brain circuitries involved in fear and anxiety can be precisely modulated, potentially resulting in higher efficacy and fewer side effects.
The project will capitalize on the significant discovery and preclinical investigations already achieved at Addex, including preclinical studies performed using ADX71743, a prototypical selective mGlu7 receptor NAM identified and characterized by Addex (Kalinichev et al. 2013. J.Pharmcol.Exp. Ther. 344, 624-636). Published and unpublished data generated with this compound in preclinical models demonstrates the central role of mGlu7 receptors in key processes involved in fear memory. The DiSARM FEAR project aims to generate novel mGlu7 NAMs ready to enter IND enabling studies within 3 years.
“This Eurostars grant is a significant validation of the pioneering discovery work we have been doing in the field of mGlu7 and in particular the field of PTSD, a significant and growing unmet medical need,” commented Robert Lütjens, Head of Discovery Biology at Addex. “The grant and consortium will allow us to accelerate development of novel small molecule compounds targeting mGlu7 that could lead to safer and potentially more effective treatments for PTSD.”
“This important research not only advances a potential new avenue in PTSD but could provide insight to other neurological disorders,” said Tim Dyer, CEO of Addex. “This project is another example of our strategy to leverage non-dilutive funding and a collaborative approach to maximize the value of our unique allosteric modulation discovery platform technology, potentially leading to multiple new products for our pipeline.”
About Addex Therapeutics
Addex Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel, orally available, small molecule allosteric modulators for neurological disorders. Allosteric modulators are an emerging class of small molecule drugs that have the potential to be more specific and confer significant therapeutic advantages over conventional “orthosteric” small molecule or biological drugs. Addex’s allosteric modulator drug discovery platform targets receptors and other proteins that are recognized as essential for therapeutic intervention – the Addex pipeline has been generated from this pioneering allosteric modulator drug discovery platform. Addex’s lead drug candidate, dipraglurant (mGlu5 negative allosteric modulator or NAM), has successfully completed a Phase 2a POC in Parkinson’s disease levodopa-induced dyskinesia (PD-LID), and is being prepared to enter registration trials for PD-LID. In parallel, dipraglurant’s therapeutic use in dystonia is being investigated. Addex’s second clinical program, ADX71149 (mGlu2 positive allosteric modulator or PAM) is being developed in collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc for epilepsy. In addition, Addex’s GABAB PAM program has been licensed to Indivior PLC for the treatment of addiction. Discovery programs include mGlu4 PAM, mGlu7 NAM, and mGlu3 PAM.