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12:00 AM
 | 
Aug 18, 2003
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Addex: The side door to addiction

Existing treatments for drug addiction are not satisfactory because they generally either substitute one addictive substance for another or fail to address craving and other withdrawal symptoms. Addex Pharmaceuticals SA thinks its allosteric modulators will offer a new strategy by binding targets in a safer and more effective way than conventional agonists and antagonists.

While the etiology of addiction is complex, some targets are generally recognized as important for development against these conditions as well as related indications. Receptors and reuptake transporters for most neurotransmitters have been pursued by the drug industry for many years. For example, Zyban bupropion, a reuptake inhibitor primarily for the neurotransmitters dopamine and noradrenaline, is marketed by GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE:GSK; GSK, London, U.K.) to treat nicotine addiction. It is also marketed under the name Wellbutrin to treat depression.

The trick has been finding compounds that modulate...

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