March 01, 2005

Schizophrenia Meds in Development

It was reported this week that two new drugs for treatment of schizophrenia are in early stage testing - a positive development that offers hope for better treatments in the future.

Galenea Corp. of Cambridge, Mass. is developing new drugs that are targeting the calcineurin pathway for the potential treatment of schizophrenia. Galenea's research effort is based on data from Rockefeller University (USA) providing behavioral and genetic evidence for the role of calcineurin dysfunction in the development of schizophrenia. The company is utliizing mice that have been genetically modified to develop schizophrenia-like symptoms (mice don't get schizophrenia naturally so scientists first make mice that are genetically engineered to develop "schizophrenia", and then try to cure them), as well as genomics-based research to validate these drug targets and test their effectiveness and safety.

Another company working on medications to help people with schizophrenia get back their memory functions, is Memory Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Memory Pharmaceuticals has just initiated a Phase I study of a potential drug that they have identified as "MEM 3454". The research study is being performed in Toronto, Canada, under a Clinical Trial Application filed with Health Canada. The study is a single-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of single ascending doses of MEM 3454.

Still another company -- Orion Pharmaceuticals -- has stated that it has a new potential drug, called "ORM-10921" while it is in preliminary testing, which has entered phase 1 testing (of the FDA's three phase testing process).

More info see: Galeana Corporation

Memory Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

More information on MEM 3454

Scientific Research Information:
Signal transduction and genes-to-behaviors pathways in psychiatric diseases

Conditional calcineurin knockout mice exhibit multiple abnormal behaviors related to schizophrenia

Evidence for association of schizophrenia with genetic variation in the 8p21.3 gene, PPP3CC, encoding the calcineurin gamma subunit


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