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GTS-21 (also known as DMBX-A), is a novel, small-molecule, orally active and selective alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptor agonist that has demonstrated memory and cognition enhancement activity in human clinical trials. Athenagen licensed the exclusive rights to the compound and a related library of analogs as part of the acquisition of Osprey Pharmaceutical Company in April 2006. GTS-21 has been studied in multiple Phase I studies in healthy volunteers and one Phase I/II study in schizophrenic patients. In all studies, the compound was well tolerated. In a Phase I multi-dose, double-blind, placebo controlled study in healthy adults, GTS-21 also demonstrated cognitive enhancement across all doses, with a statistically significant improvement in attention related and memory related tasks (Kitagawa, et al. Neuropsychopharmacology (2003), 28, 542-551).
Humans and other mammals
Investigated for use/treatment in alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders.
Mechanism of action
Auditory sensory gating, a biological measurement of the ability to suppress the evoked response to the second of two auditory stimuli, is diminished in people with schizophrenia. Deficits in sensory gating are associated with attentional impairment, and may contribute to cognitive symptoms and perceptual disturbances. This inhibitory process, which involves the alpha(7) nicotinic receptor mediated release of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) by hippocampal interneurons, represents a potential new target for therapeutic intervention in schizophrenia. GTS-21 is an orally active alpha-7 nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptor agonist.
Drug Info/Drug Targets: DrugBank 3.0: a comprehensive resource for 'omics' research on drugs. Knox C, Law V, Jewison
T, Liu P, Ly S, Frolkis A, Pon A, Banco K, Mak C, Neveu V, Djoumbou Y, Eisner R, Guo AC, Wishart DS.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jan; 39 (Database issue):D1035-41. | PMID:21059682