Sage Therapeutics is now in a license agreement with Washington University in St. Louis to develop and commercialize novel small molecule GABAA receptor allosteric modulators for treating neuropsychiatric diseases. The CNS disease-focused firm says the technology developed at Washington University both complements and strengthens its own product engine—the Positive and Negative Allosteric Modulator (PANAM) platform—and could also aid in accelerating development of novel compounds for sedation and anesthesia.

“While our focus continues to be on specialty and orphan CNS conditions influenced by the GABA and NMDA pathways, we also see significant opportunities to maximize larger market opportunities, including sedation and anesthesia, through strategic industry partnerships,” said Sage CEO Jeff Jonas, M.D., in a statement.

Sage says its positive allosteric modulation approach to the GABAA receptor can fine-tune brain activity, potentially delivering effective treatment while also limiting the often toxic side effects seen with many therapeutic approaches. This collaboration with Washington University is allowing Sage to accelerate development of a novel therapeutic agent for procedural sedation that could enable rapid onset and rapid clear-headed offset, as well as potentially minimize side effects.

Sage’s PANAM platform is an allosteric modulator chemistry platform that the firm says has generated multiple new chemical entities that have the potential to lead to products with multiple indications over the next several years.

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