Small Molecule Potentiators for Treatment of Central Nervous System Disorders


Series of compounds for selectively potentiating N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunit NR2C for treating central nervous system impairment.

Key Benefits

  • Selectivity for NR2C may reduce possibility of adverse side effects.

Market Summary

N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors are widely dispersed in the central nervous system (CNS) and are involved in important physiological processes such as synaptic plasticity and memory formation. NMDA receptors are also implicated in several pathophysiological conditions including Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, depression and ischemia. Almost all drugs targeting NMDA receptors are in the discovery or preclinical phase. Additionally, most current drugs and drugs in development globally antagonize NMDA receptor function in the CNS, potentially resulting in adverse side-effects such as dissociative feelings and hallucinations.

Technical Summary

Researchers at Emory University have discovered a series of small molecule potentiators to the NMDA receptor. These small molecules have selectivity for NR2C over NR2A/B/D, AMPA, and kainate receptors, reducing the risk of adverse side-effects. NR2C has prominent expression in the cerebellum, thalamus, interneurons, and elsewhere, suggesting selective potentiation could have important effects in the CNS. This small molecule may be useful in treating CNS impairments such as pain, depression, schizophrenia, motor disorders, or addiction.

Developmental Stage

Early pre-clinical development is underway.


J Med Chem 57: 2334-56
Molecular Pharmacology 86: 548-560.

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Patent Information

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Patent Status
Nationalized PCT - United States United States 14/419,084 9,737,522 2/2/2015 8/22/2017 Issued
Tech ID: 11128
Published: 10/17/2016