Concert Pharmaceuticals and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) have established a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) centered on the preclinical testing of one of Concert’s compounds for protecting against seizures associated with traumatic brain injury. The compound is derived from Concert’s DCE (deuterated chemical entity) Platform™. Under terms of the deal, the two partners will share costs associated with preclinical evaluation of the drug compound, which WRAIR will test using its preclinical brain injury model.
Concert says the CRADA will help progress its research on drug compounds that have already demonstrated anti-seizure activity in preclinical models, and which may be effective in the treatment of epileptic or seizure-generating injuries such as ischemic stroke and traumatic brain injury.
The firm is separately collaborating with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke’s (NINDS) Anticonvulsant Screening Program to evaluate the anti-seizure activity of a series of deuterium-modified compounds using in vivo and in vitro models. The work is focused on the potential utility of such compounds as anti-epileptics.
Concert is exploiting the fact that deuterium forms particularly strong bonds with carbon. From a drug development perspective, the firm maintains that in select cases of precisely modified molecules, deuterium can positively impact drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and/or excretion (ADME) properties, creating the potential for improved drug efficacy, safety, and tolerability.
Concert is exploiting its DCE platform to develop deuterated drugs against a range of diseases and disorders. Its lead early-stage clinical program is an HIV protease inhibitor. Also in early development is an anti-inflammatory/antifibrotic candidate for treating chronic kidney disease. The firm is also looking to establish partnerships in the fields of autoimmune disease, cancer, epilepsy, HCV, and pain/spasticity.