Sound Pharmaceuticals and Oxford collaborate on a new treatment for bipolar disorder

Image from Sound Pharmaceuticals and Oxford collaborate on a new treatment for bipolar disorder News Article

11th March 2016

Sound Pharmaceuticals (SPI) will collaborate with the University of Oxford on a Phase 2 clinical trial to test SPI-1005 for the treatment of bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is a psychiatric illness that involves both periods of mania and depression, and affects approximately one percent of adults worldwide. Unfortunately, patients have relatively few treatment options, often involving drugs such as lithium, which has significant side effects.

SPI-1005 is an oral drug that contains ebselen, which mimics and induces the activity of Glutathione Peroxidase (GPx) in the brain and inner ear. SPI-1005 is under clinical investigation in several otologic diseases where GPx activity is reduced, including noise-induced hearing loss, chemotherapy-induced ototoxicity and Meniere’s disease. GPx activity is thought to be diminished in several psychiatric disorders including bipolar, schizophrenia and autism, and neurologic diseases including traumatic brain injury, stroke, dementia, and Parkinson’s. “We are committed to testing our novel investigational drugs in human diseases where the unmet medical need has devastating societal impact,” said Jonathan Kil, MD, CEO.

Dr Philip Cowen, Principal Investigator of the upcoming Oxford study is a distinguished clinician in the Department of Psychiatry. He has received numerous awards for his ground breaking work on the psychopharmacology of complex mood disorders, such as bipolar disorder. Preliminary human trials have been conducted in healthy volunteers at Oxford’s Warneford Hospital. “Based on the novel anti-inflammatory activity of ebselen, together with its lithium-like effects on signal transduction, we hope that it will benefit patients with bipolar illness,” said Dr. Cowen. As part of the collaboration, Oxford University Innovation, Oxford’s technology commercialization arm has provided SPI with exclusive IP rights. The Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI), a leading funder of clinical trials involving psychiatric disease, is providing support for this study.

SPI is a privately held biotech in Seattle, WA developing the first drugs for the prevention and treatment of sensorineural hearing loss and tinnitus.

SMRI is a nonprofit organization supporting research on the causes of, and treatments for, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. SMRI has supported more than $550 million in research in over 30 countries.


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