Seaside Therapeutics and Vanderbilt University Enter Collaborative Research Agreement
News Jan 08, 2010
Seaside Therapeutics LLC announced that the Company has entered into a collaborative research agreement with Vanderbilt University Medical Center to discover and develop small molecules targeting neurologic receptors implicated in disorders of brain development, such as Fragile X Syndrome and autism.
The targets, muscarinic acetylcholine subtype 1 (M1) receptors, are known to regulate learning and memory. Research conducted by the Company suggests that inhibiting M1 receptor signaling could provide therapeutic benefit for individuals with disorders of brain development.
“Selectively inhibiting M1 receptors represents an innovative and very promising approach to treating brain development disorders.”
Scientists at Vanderbilt, led by Jeffrey Conn, Ph.D., Director of the Vanderbilt Program in Drug Discovery and a member of Seaside’s Scientific Advisory Board, have identified novel small molecule compounds that are M1 antagonists. Vanderbilt will work exclusively with Seaside on the discovery, development, optimization and eventual selection of lead compounds for continued study in disorders of brain development.
“Our focus on identifying the molecular pathophysiology of single-gene disorders associated with autism has provided insights for developing targeted therapeutics with the potential to correct or fundamentally alter the course of brain development and function,” said Randall L. Carpenter, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Seaside Therapeutics.
“We believe this focused approach offers patients suffering from these disorders the best opportunity for successful treatment. Vanderbilt’s expertise in drug discovery and their continued commitment to developing novel therapeutics for brain development disorders makes them an exceptional partner in this initiative and we look forward to this latest project with Dr. Conn and his team.”
“Selectively inhibiting M1 receptors represents an innovative and very promising approach to treating brain development disorders,” said Jeffrey Conn, Ph.D. “We are excited to partner with Seaside on this project and believe the combined expertise of the two teams may play an important role in advancing research in the field and, hopefully, in the long-term, bringing disease-modifying therapeutics to individuals suffering from Fragile X Syndrome, autism and other brain development disorders.”
This agreement is the second collaborative project between Seaside and Vanderbilt. In early 2008, Seaside entered into a collaboration with Dr. Conn and other investigators in the Vanderbilt Program in Drug Discovery to develop compounds that inhibit excessive signaling through the metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 (mGluR5), which Seaside believes may be responsible for the neurological and psychiatric consequences of Fragile X Syndrome.