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  EUR 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 Published and unpublished data generated with this compound in preclinical models demonstrates the central role of mGlu7 receptors in key processes involved in fear memory.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.”