The NIH awarded VistaGen Therapeutics $1.2 million to back final preparation and IND filing of its sole drug candidate. The firm expects to develop AV-101 for neuropathic pain, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy. The application is planned for early 2008.
The funding is the final phase of an aggregate of $4.3 million from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
Aimed at the multibillion dollar neurological disorders market, VistaGen’s AV-101 represents a potential first-in-class prodrug that regulates glutamate signaling by regulating the NMDA receptor. It has the potential to reduce the severity of neuropathic pain, stimulate the firing of dopaminergic neurons, and reduce the number and severity of epileptic seizures, according to the company. The prodrug also reportedly minimizes the neuronal death that often accompanies pathological neuronal signaling.