Knopp Neurosciences Inc. sees therapeutic potential in what was previously considered a throw-away molecule: the R(+) enantiomer of Mirapex pramipexole, which Knopp calls KNS-760704. In two weeks, the compound will enter Phase II trials for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH markets Mirapex pramipexole, a dopamine receptor agonist, to treat Parkinson's disease (PD) and restless legs syndrome (RLS).
While pramipexole and KNS-760704 have the same chemical composition, a small difference in physical structure causes the former to have a high affinity for the dopamine receptor and the latter a low affinity. The difference provides the window of opportunity for Knopp.
Pramipexole is a benzothiazole, and as an S enantiomer, the N, propyl amino group