Addex approaches the clinic for rare dystonias

Addex Therapeutics' dipraglurant, in the clinic for Parkinson's disease, also has potential in a number of rare dystonias, according to preclinical data announced this week, and Phase II clinical trials could begin as early as the second half of the year.

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Dystonia symptoms include muscle contractions and spasms, along with repetitive and involuntary movements, and these can cause mild to severe disability and pain. Hot on the heels of positive clinical data in Parkinson's disease, dipraglurant dose-dependently reduced the severity of symptoms triggered by caffeine in a rodent model of dystonia, aptly known as the tottering mouse model. At the highest dose, dipraglurant completely blocked the onset of the symptoms.

"The effects of dipraglurant in the mouse model are very compelling. They provide additional support for further exploration of mGlu5 inhibitors as a novel treatment for dystonia and also open new therapeutic avenues," said Ellen Hess at Emory University in Atlanta, where the studies were performed.

Dipraglurant is an oral mGlu5 negative allosteric modulator (NAM). It has been assessed in a Phase IIa clinical trial in levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson's disease. Addex is seeking a partner for this indication, and is also developing an extended release formulation of the drug.

- read the press release