Pharma Focus Asia

Psychogenics Has Acquired the Exclusive Global License for an IND-ready ENT1 Inhibitor Designed for the Treatment of Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Saturday, December 02, 2023

PGI Drug Discovery LLC, trading as PsychoGenics, recently secured an exclusive license agreement with Roche for the global development, manufacturing, and commercialization rights to RO7117997. This compound, identified as an Equilibrative Nucleoside Transporter 1 (ENT1) inhibitor, is IND-ready and shows promise for treating various psychiatric and neurological conditions, starting with sleep and seizure disorders.

RO7117997 originated from a collaboration between PsychoGenics and Roche, utilizing PsychoGenics' AI-enabled phenotypic screening platforms, particularly the SmartCube® platform. Dr. Emer Leahy, President and CEO of PsychoGenics, expressed satisfaction in advancing another phenotypically discovered drug candidate, emphasizing the novelty of inhibiting ENT1 for addressing neuropsychiatric disorders.

David Bleakman, PhD, President of Drug Discovery at PsychoGenics, expressed optimism about expanding their pipeline and highlighted the diverse therapeutic possibilities of ENT1 inhibitors based on pre-clinical data. RO7117997 has exhibited a compelling safety profile in non-clinical studies, and the company aims to submit an IND application and commence clinical trials in 2024.

The mechanism of action involves ENT1 inhibition, blocking the transporter's activity and preventing adenosine uptake into cells. This leads to an elevation in extracellular adenosine levels, potentially improving sleep quality and reducing seizures by activating adenosine receptors. Beyond sleep and seizure disorders, ENT1 inhibitors like RO7117997 may find applications in treating conditions such as schizophrenia, addiction, neurodegenerative disorders, pain, and inflammation. The license agreement aligns with PsychoGenics' strategic objective of developing improved treatments for severe CNS conditions.



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