GluN2C/D-selective Antagonists for Treatment of Neurological Disorders


A new series of compounds for selectively inhibiting N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunits for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia, treatment-resistant depression, and ischemia.

Key Benefits

  • Improved anatomical selectivity in NMDA receptor modulation may result in fewer adverse side effects.
  • Targeted antagonism of the GluN2C/D subunits of the NMDA receptor may yield better pharmacological and pharmacokinetic properties than other NMDA receptor antagonists.

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 (dextromethorphan, esketamine) globally antagonize NMDA receptor function in the CNS, potentially resulting in adverse side-effects such as dissociative feelings and hallucinations.

Technical Summary

NMDA receptors are heterotetrameric ionic glutamate channels which comprise 2 GluN1 and 2 GluN2 subunits. While GluN2A and GluN2B subunits are broadly expressed in the CNS, the GluN2C and GluN2D subunits are more anatomically restricted, oftentimes in brain regions implicated in pathology. Therefore selective inhibition of the GluN2C/D subunits are attractive for treating certain neurological conditions. A class of GluN2C/D-specific antagonists of NMDA receptors has been discovered and characterized by the inventors. The dihydroquinolone-pyrazoline (DQP) class of NMDA receptor antagonists potently and selectively inhibit GluN2C/D-containing NMDA receptors. Moreover, some of the most potent analogs were further evaluated and possess good aqueous solubility, minimal degradation in human plasma, and potential for blood-brain barrier penetration.

Developmental Stage

In-vitro studies completed on three lead compounds and data is available.

Publication: Acker, T. M. et al. (2011). Mol Pharmacol, 80(5), 782-95.

Read our featured innovation.

Patent Information

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Patent Status
Divisional United States 16/053,265 11,117,882 8/2/2018 9/14/2021 Issued
Continuation United States 17/404,579   8/17/2021   Pending
Tech ID: 13118
Published: 12/22/2015