France-based drug repositioning company Marco Polo Pharmaceuticals obtained rights to develop Biocortech’s eburnamine derivative, BC-19, for treatment-resistant depression.
Biocortech says that the agreement is in line with its strategic shift toward the development of biomarkers and tests for psychiatric disorders. Marco Polo will thus take over all further clinical development of the drug as well as commercializaton or outlicensing to a commercialization partner.
BC-19 was previously being investigated in the areas of cerebral insufficiency and cognitive deficits, Biocortech explains. The firm says that studies showed that the drug had benefits as an antidepressant in patients with treatment-resistant depression. BC-19 could also represent the first disease-modifying therapy for depression, according to Biocortech, by restoring the function of deficient noradrenergic pathways terminating in the prefrontal cortex.