Although sanofi-aventis Group has not hidden the fact it has moved three antidepressant and anxiolytic molecules into late-stage development, it has revealed few details. Now, the company is beginning to lift the veil, describing the compounds as first-in-class molecules with novel mechanisms that it believes could be complementary to marketed drugs.
Saredutant (SR 48968), a specific antagonist at neurokinin 2 (NK2) receptors, has a bolus of Phase III data due this year.
SSR 149415 is a vasopressin 1b (V1b) receptor antagonist in multiple Phase IIb studies in a variety of settings and combinations. And amibegron (SR 58611A) is an adrenergic receptor beta 3 (ADRB3) agonist that could be ready for regulatory filing this year or in 2008.
Saredutant is in Phase III testing for major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. The compound's target, NK2 receptors, are expressed in the brain's limbic region, striatum, hippocampus and cortex, areas thought to be important for depression, stress and memory.