PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Amygdala Neurosciences Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of first-in-class drug candidates for addiction disorders, has entered into an agreement with Gilead Sciences, Inc. for the acquisition of GS-6637, a highly selective ALDH2 inhibitor with the potential to treat behavior and substance addictions based on a mechanism of action that prevents pathophysiologic dopamine surges and associated craving without changes to basal dopamine.
"Completion of this transaction launches Amygdala Neurosciences with a Phase-2 ready asset that we believe has the potential to become a treatment for addiction," said Peter Strumph, Amygdala's co-founder and CEO. "In 2017, we look forward to initiating clinical trials for the treatment of both cocaine and alcohol use disorders."
"Preventing relapse is a critical treatment objective. When exposed to stimuli associated with drug use, addicts experience a pathophysiologic dopamine surge that leads to craving and promotes drug relapse," said Ivan Diamond, MD, PhD, and Amygdala's co-founder and CSO. "In animal studies, GS-6637 decreased drug use and relapse by preventing the stimuli induced pathophysiologic dopamine surges which result in craving and drug seeking behavior."
GS-6637 is a Phase-2 ready compound that utilizes a novel pathway for the treatment of addiction. GS-6637 is highly selective ALDH2 inhibitor that modifies dopaminergic tone by preventing pathophysiologic dopamine surges and associated craving without changes to basal dopamine. This profile, which prevents craving and drug seeking behavior, has the potential to be used as a pharmacotherapy for substance and behavior and based addictions.
About Addiction and Substance Abuse
The 2016 Surgeon General's report classifies addiction and substance misuse as a "national public health crisis." In the US in 2015, 67,000 deaths were due to drug overdose, 88,000 deaths were alcohol related, and 22 million people were addicted to alcohol or other drugs. The abuse of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs costs more than $700 billion annually for related crime, lost work productivity and health care. A total of $33 billion is spent each year to treat substance abuse, and only 11% of those who need treatment are treated and less than 4% of treatment spending for pharmacotherapy. There is a clear unmet need for better treatments and for greater treatment utilization, with a large opportunity for safe and effective pharmacotherapies to treat substance abuse and addiction.
About Amygdala Neurosciences Inc.
Amygdala Neurosciences is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of first-in-class drug candidates for the treatment of addiction disorders. Amygdala was founded and is led by industry leaders and therapeutic experts who include: Executive Chairman Lou Lange, MD, PhD; Chief Science Officer Ivan Diamond, MD, PhD; President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Strumph; and Chief Financial Officer Adrienne MacMillan.
SOURCE Amygdala Neurosciences Inc.