SAN DIEGO, April 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Psylin Neurosciences Inc., a joint venture biotechnology company spun out of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and PsychoGenics, Inc. announced today that it has initiated IND-enabling development of a novel compound, PSN0041, for the treatment of depression.
PSN0041, a peptide from Amylin's proprietary polypeptide hormone library, PHORMOL, was identified as having utility in depression after screening it in PsychoGenics' proprietary, drug discovery technologies. Not only has PSN0041 shown effects in multiple preclinical tests of depression, but also in preclinical tests of anxiety. The peptide has several anticipated advantages over current antidepressant medications including cognitive enhancement, weight loss, a lack of sexual side effects, and an enhanced safety and side effect profile. Psylin's primary aim is to advance PSN0041 rapidly through early clinical development.
"The selection of PSN0041 as a clinical candidate for depression is an important milestone for Psylin. We believe that PSN0041 validates the utility of peptides in this therapeutic arena," said Mark Gergen, Co-CEO of Psylin and Senior Vice President, Corporate Development at Amylin. "It also supports Amylin's belief that value can be derived from PHORMOL in areas outside of Amylin's core focus on diabetes and obesity therapies."
"PsychoGenics and Amylin formed Psylin in 2007 and in just two years identified PSN0041. The productivity of the partnership is the direct result of the good working relationship between both companies, the quality of Amylin's PHORMOL library, and the predictive power of PsychoGenics' proprietary, high throughput, in vivo approach to drug discovery," said Emer Leahy, Ph.D., Co-CEO of Psylin and President and CEO of PsychoGenics. "PSN0041 is a very exciting molecule that offers a new approach to the treatment of depression and based on our preclinical models is expected to provide certain unique advantages over existing treatments."
Psylin's mission is to pioneer the development of peptide therapeutics for the treatment of psychiatric disorders. PSN0041 will be the first compound in Psylin's pipeline to enter into clinical development. Other compounds are being investigated for development as antipsychotic and mood stabilizing therapies.
Amylin's proprietary peptide library known as PHORMOL encompasses an extensive panel of potentially valuable biologics that have been taken from nature, including human peptides not previously described. All of these have been synthesized to create a rich source of compounds that are being evaluated for potential utility in a range of diseases.
PsychoGenics' proprietary drug discovery technologies combine its broad in vivo behavioral expertise with recent developments in robotics, computer vision and bio/cheminformatics to evaluate drug candidates for potential utility across the spectrum of neuropsychiatric disease indications. Working in partnership with pharmaceutical and biotech companies, PsychoGenics has been instrumental in identifying therapeutic potential for a variety of early and late stage compounds including some with novel "first-in-class" mechanisms of action such as PSN0041.
Depression is the leading major cause of disability in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression affects approximately 19 million people in the United States. The U.S. Surgeon General estimates that the indirect costs attributable to depression amount to $80 billion annually.
Psylin Neurosciences, Inc. was formed in January, 2007 as a 50/50 joint venture biotechnology company spun out of Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and PsychoGenics, Inc. Psylin's mission is to pioneer the development of peptide therapeutics in neuropsychiatric disorders. Psylin has access to molecules in Amylin's PHORMOL library and to PsychoGenics' proprietary drug discovery technologies. Amylin's expertise in peptide biology, manufacturing and drug delivery, combined with PsychoGenics' expertise in preclinical neuropharmacology, provide Psylin with a unique drug discovery resource. Psylin has the right to develop a number of drug candidates in psychiatric disorders emerging from this collaboration.