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12:00 AM
 | 
Sep 08, 2003
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Faust: Shedding light on neuroprotectants

Measuring changes in concentrations of neurotransmitters in synapses is critical to developing CNS drugs. Faust Pharmaceuticals S.A. says it has developed a sensitive, quantitative high throughput in vitro technology that allows it to measure and compare neurotransmitter concentrations. The company is using the technology to discover and develop neuroprotectants.

"The common feature in all neurodegenerative disorders is that there is neuronal death due to disturbances in the release or concentrations of neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft," said CEO Gregory Chapron.

The end result of such disturbances is the release of toxic levels of glutamate. "In each neurodegenerative disease, the cause of the release of excess glutamate is different," said CSO Pascal Neuville. "But independent of the initial cause, which is relatively unknown, the destructive process mitigated by glutamate is the same."

The logical conclusion is to develop glutamate antagonists acting at post-synaptic receptors, but such...

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