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Anders Bach PhD., Postdoc

Clinical Articles, News & Views

New compound for treating stroke

A new chemical compound for the possible treatment of brain damage caused by stroke has been designed, produced and patented by researchers at the University of Copenhagen. The results of biological tests have just been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.1

Tests found that the new compound binds 1,000 times more effectively than the potential drug currently under clinical development.  The results also showed high biological activity in animal models, and demonstrated that the compound is able to pass through the blood-brain barrier.

Anders Bach, medicinal chemist and postdoc at the University’s Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, said: “Research on animal models shows that the new compound we have designed and produced reduces the dead area in the brain after a stroke by 40%…Our research is concentrated on disrupting the interaction between the so-called N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor and the intracellular protein postsynaptic density protein-95 (PSD-95)”.

“Other scientists have shown interest in the same area – one group has developed a particularly interesting compound that is currently undergoing clinical development. However, we have reconsidered the design of the compounds in this area and come up with a new one that is more effective,” he continued.

Anders Bach, PhD, Postdoc.

Anders Bach, PhD, Postdoc.

Speaking to BJC Arrhythmia Watch, Bach said: “Ischaemic stroke is an indication which is currently very poorly treated (see e.g. Nature Neurosci. 2011;14:1363), and thus there is a massive unmet medical need. Unfortunately the pharmaceutical industry are reluctant to enter this area due to failures in the past. However, we believe that scientists have become much more knowledgeable in this area, and hope that some of the new approaches to this disease, one of which is described in our paper, will be applicable”.

“We are very excited about our results, which indicate great biological activity in this animal model of ischaemic stroke. Currently, we are performing a number of follow-up studies to explore the full potential of our dimeric inhibitors; this includes testing in different ischaemic models in different species, and establishing dose-response relationships and other parameters. To explore their potential as drugs, we are also performing initial ADME/Tox studies, and so far we have not observed any adverse effects,” he continued.

Bach hopes that the new compound can form the basis for a new drug on the global market, but emphasises that such a process is long and complicated:  “Although we are very satisfied with the new results in terms of the possible treatment of brain damage due to stroke, many things can go wrong in the long drug development process. So even though the compound binds effectively in laboratory studies and shows promising biological activity in animal models, we will still have many challenges to overcome,” he concludes.

References

1.  Bach A, Clausen BH, Møller M, et al. A high-affinity, dimeric inhibitor of PSD-95 bivalently interacts with PDZ1-2 and protects against ischemic brain damage. PNAS 2012.  doi: 10.1073/pnas.1113761109

Published on: April 18, 2012

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  • Stars
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  • Atrial Fibrillation Association
 

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