Creating a New Class of Neurogenic Drugs
Neuralstem's technology uniquely enables the creation of stable neural stem cell lines from the human hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in memory and the generation of new neurons. From these cell lines, the company can create practically unlimited amounts of mature human hippocampal neural stem cells.
Neuralstem's human hippocampus cell lines are the world's only such cell lines. They enable the company to screen vast libraries of chemical compounds, searching for those that protect hippocampal neurons against various toxic insults. They create, in essence, disease models in a dish: living human neurons against which Neuralstem can test multiple chemical compounds.
Neuralstem has been engaged in its own drug discovery program with these human hippocampal stem cell lines. In 2009, Neuralstem was granted patents on its four first-in-class chemical entities that boost the generation of new neurons. NSI-189, the first of these to be in a clinical trial, in major depressive disorder (MDD), significantly stimulates the generation of new neurons (neurogenesis) in vitro and in animal models, and has been shown to have “clinically meaningful” improvement across all depressive and cognitive measures in a Phase Ib human clinical trial for MDD.
Using the Brain to Repair Itself
Assaults on neurons in the human hippocampus are now suspected to be linked to many devastating diseases of the mind and brain. Drugs that stimu
late the generation of new neurons -- an aspect of the healthy brain that seems to be negatively impacted by many CNS conditions -- could address these conditions at their root cause. In multiple animal model studies, Neuralstem's compounds have demonstrated clear evidence of new neuron growth in the hippocampus and increased hippocampal volume.
NSI-189 is the lead compound in Neuralstem's neurogenic small molecule drug platform, which the company plans to develop into orally administered drugs for MDD and other psychiatric and cognitive disorders as diverse as traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer's disease and pre-Alzheimer’s dementia, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The company believes that all of these indications may be treated by reversing hippocampal atrophy. This is an entirely new approach to treating these devastating diseases and conditions.
- View NSI-189/Major Depressive Disorder page here