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12:00 AM
 | 
Sep 26, 2011
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Mnemosyne: Potentiating cognition

Mnemosyne's SNRMs target NMDA receptor subunits for neurological diseases

Many companies are trying to treat schizophrenia by counteracting NMDA receptor hypofunction, but they have shown only modest clinical efficacy. Mnemosyne Pharmaceuticals Inc. believes that selectively modulating NMDA receptor NR2B subtype is the answer and hopes to identify a lead candidate in about a year.

The only drugs approved for schizophrenia are antipsychotics, which treat only positive symptoms of the disease, such as hallucinations and delusions.

According to co-founder and CSO Frank Menniti, long-term disability in schizophrenics is caused by negative symptoms, such as a disengagement from society, and cognitive symptoms, including a reduction in cognitive ability.

He noted antipsychotics cause debilitating side effects like long-term brain chemistry changes, weight gain and metabolic changes.

Mnemosyne believes it can treat all three symptom domains without the side effects of current drugs by potentiating the NMDA receptor NR2B subtype (GRIN2B; NR2B). CEO Kollol Pal anticipates the company's compounds will thus be used as monotherapy.

NMDA receptors are one of three classes of receptors that mediate synaptic transmission of glutamate, which is...

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