Fundamental Research Division
The DRF at the CEA assemble approximately 6,000 scientists since January 2016.
Scientific result | Neurodegenerative diseases | Pharmacology
Theranexus receives US patent protection for its drug candidate, THN102. In the line of sight: treating the symptoms of narcolepsy and Parkinson's disease.
US No. 9,750,734: this is the patent number that now protects drug candidate THN102 throughout the US until 2034. While this patent is granted to the CEA, its start-up Theranexus enjoys an exclusive worldwide license. Founded in 2013 by two researchers from the Institut François-Jacob, the young company develops solutions for the treatment of nervous system diseases including narcolepsy and Parkinson's disease.
Its flagship innovation is based on the THN102 therapeutic combination, which combines two elements: modafinil, a drug at the frontline in treating excessive daytime sleepiness; and flecainide, used as an agent to modulate connexins and to potentiate the effects of modafinil.
Clinical trials underway
"We had observed that inhibiting connexins in glial cells, with flecainide for example, amplified the effectiveness of psychotropic drugs such as modafinil on their target neurons", recalls Mathieu Chévériat, scientific director and co-founder of Theranexus. Since 2016, THN102 has shown its superiority in comparison to a single dose of modafinil, both in in vivo models of narcolepsy and in healthy, sleep-deprived volunteers. THN102 is currently in a phase II clinical trial in narcoleptic patients. "In parallel, we will conduct in 2018 another phase II clinical trial in Parkinson's disease patients suffering from daytime sleepiness", states Franck Mouthon, co-founder and President of Theranexus. Their results bring hope for improving the quality of life of nearly 30% of Parkinson's patients, who currently have no treatment to relieve them from this daytime sleepiness.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.