NOVATO, Calif., Oct. 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Mercaptor Discoveries (Mercaptor) today announced that its proprietary Capton® molecule demonstrated efficacy in the Epilepsy Therapy Screening Program (ETSP) run by the National Institutes of Health – National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NIH-NINDS).
Mercaptor now has proof of concept for localized conversion in the brain of its Capton® in the presence of stress and protection from seizure by the converted Capton® in a preclinical epilepsy model. These data support Capton® efficacy in mitigating excitotoxicity: the pathological process by which nerve cells are damaged or killed by excessive stimulation by neurotransmitters such as glutamate or analogous toxins.
Sara Isbell, Mercaptor CEO said, "We are very encouraged by these reproducible results demonstrating the efficacy of our Capton® in preclinical seizure models. The use of seizure models provides us a rapid characterization of efficacy against excitotoxicity. Our current Captons® are being developed to stop excitation only of brain cells surrounding damaged brain tissue to slow or stop progression of the damage."
Excitoxicity drives the pathology associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI), CNS disorders and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
"These results confirm that capton chemosensitivity and potency can be leveraged for the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions and brain injury. We expect that the unprecedented capabilities of these molecules will become more familiar to researchers and physicians in the coming years," said Todd Zankel, Ph.D., Mercaptor's CSO.
The news comes as privately-held Mercaptor solidifies its business strategy: taking therapeutics through clinic to market and supplying clinic-ready investigational therapeutics to various CNS/brain injury-focused pharmaceutical companies with experienced clinical, regulatory and commercial capabilities.
Mercaptor is responding to the huge unmet medical need for neuroprotective CNS therapeutics. In the United States alone, more than 5 million people suffer from Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and ALS; while an estimated 2.8 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury annually.
Approximately nine out of every ten drug candidates fail to gain approval, ballooning the cost of drug development. Mercaptor plans to reverse this pattern by efficiently delivering well-vetted, high-performing drug candidates based on its Capton® platform technology. Mercaptor's Capton® platform may accelerate early-drug candidates into the clinic by leveraging data on existing therapeutics into which Captons® convert.
CEO, Isbell, who recently published a paper addressing drug-design and development, explained, "Large pharmaceutical companies have made little progress in developing meaningful drugs for neurodegenerative diseases and CNS disorders due to clinical failures or approved therapeutics with significant side effects. Our POC shows that Captons® have potent neuroprotective capabilities."
About Mercaptor Discoveries
Mercaptor Discoveries was founded by a scientific team that has experience developing successful biotech companies, including Raptor Pharmaceuticals. Raptor was purchased by Horizon Pharma in 2016 for nearly $900M. Mercaptor's founding scientists discovered injury-activated molecules, called Captons®. Captons® have preclinical POC as neuroprotectants and have potential to prevent the progression of CNS disorders and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, ALS, CTE, Parkinson's disease, MS and stroke. Mercaptor prioritizes productivity and transparency, and values the purity of research. Please visit Mercaptor.com for more information.
Contact: Carole Barrow, [email protected]
SOURCE Mercaptor Discoveries