High Throughput in Vivo Drug Discovery - Phase II

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2R44MH070240-03A1
Agency Tracking Number: MH070240
Amount: $1,350,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2008
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2007-2
Small Business Information
DUNS: 004812744
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: (914) 593-0640
Email: bill.fasnacht@psychogenics.com
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This Phase II application is being submitted in response to a continuing NIMH program announcement for Pharmacological Agents and Drugs for Mental Disorders. The goal of the proposal is to use an innovative behavior-dri ven approach to psychiatric drug discovery to overcome the major limitations associated with target-driven approaches that have impeded the discovery of new and improved medications. In Phase I, we applied the SmartCube. high throughput, automated, in vivo discovery platform and used it to demonstrate that an efficient and powerful behavior-based system can be used as a primary screen to identify novel hits for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. That approach proved to be extremely successful as we alr eady have identified 125 SmartCube hits. Ten of these have novel and diverse target profiles and their therapeutic potential for treating depression, psychosis, or anxiety has been confirmed in multiple standard behavioral assays. In Phase II we will demon strate that SmartCube. can be used to enable behavior-driven lead optimization and use it to advance three of our most interesting and novel lead compounds to become clinical candidates. This will be accomplished by using SmartCube in combination with stat e of the art computational chemistry and capitalizing on the rapidly growing availability of commercial analogs. It will involve 1) thorough characterization of key in vitro and in vivo drug-like properties of these compounds including oral bioavailability , chronic efficacy, in vitro metabolic stability, in vitro cardiotoxicity and in vitro genotoxicity to identify properties that need to be optimized; 2) exploring the mechanism of action of the two most novel lead compounds; 2) creating a Structure Activit y Relationship for behavioral activity with computational tools and commercially available analogs; 3) synthesizing focused series of novel analogs predicted to have desirable drug-like properties under the guidance of experienced medicinal chemists; 4) sc reening these analogs in SmartCube and then demonstrating improvement in key features; and finally; 5) testing the most promising compounds in toxicity assays in order to select an Early Development Candidate (EDC). Our goal is to advance 1-3 promising dru g candidates for psychiatric disorders and demonstrate that this unique, behavior-driven approach to CNS drug discovery is feasible using our proprietary technology. This innovative approach is unique in the industry and has the potential to significantly reduce both the time and cost of psychiatric drug discovery.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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