Our products in development are new and designed with state-of-the-art technology. They are also based on decades-old evidence of a way to outperform every drug to hit the market for anxiety or depression.
For about five decades, modern antidepressants have been used widely to treat depression. In recent years, they have also been used increasingly to treat anxiety. Although antidepressants are helpful for some patients, they are much less helpful for many others. Therefore, there is an urgent need for alternative medicines for these devastating disorders.
We are developing medicines that target the melanocortin system. Melanocortins are signals that are released in the brain in response to stress. Stress is well known to contribute to depression and anxiety, but the underlying connection is poorly understood. Previous work by others has shown that early generation melanocortin inhibitors exert therapeutic effects in depressed patients. Importantly, these effects are stronger, faster, safer, and longer lasting that the therapeutic effects of antidepressants. On the other hand, the early melanocortin inhibitors were peptides, which needed to be taken by injection, rather than by mouth. In addition, these superior medicines were not economically viable at the time their developers attempted to bring them to market. We are developing next generation melanocortin inhibitors to capture these superior qualities and more.
Our lead product (patent pending) is a peptide that blocks the melanocortin-5 receptor (MC5R). Our preclinical work shows that this mechanism of action exerts potent, rapid-acting, well tolerated, and safe therapeutic effects in mouse models of anxiety and depression. Unlike many other peptide therapeutics, our products will be formulated to be taken by mouth, rather than by injection.
Stay tuned for updates.