Recent research has shown that it is possible to design GABAA receptor targeting with fewer side effects by fine tuning their selectivity profile. It should further be possible to treat disorders not addressable with standard GABAA modulators like the benzodiazeopines.
Our lead program will seek compounds that selectively target GABAA receptors that contain the α2 and α3 subunits. These molecules will be initially developed to treat neuropathic pain. However, we also expect that they will be useful for a variety of other indications including anxiety, depression, autism and startle disorder.
We will also develop neurosteroids that modulate the GABAA receptor. Neurosteroids bind the GABAA receptor at a different site than benzodiazeopines. As a result, they inherently have a different selectivity profile and are typically strong activators of the receptor. In addition to the indications indicated for our lead program, these molecules may have special utility for certain epilepsies.