OUR MISSION is to discover new, safe and effective drugs to make those lives considerably better. We combine smart chemistry and bioscience to discover new medicines to treat diseases of the nervous system.
Our aim has been to develop biased agonists of the delta (δ) opioid receptor (DOR). Unlike the mu (μ) opioid receptor which is the major target of conventional opioid drugs, activating the DOR does not provide good acute analgesia but produces excellent reversal of chronic pain in animal models. DOR agonists have none of the unwanted effects of conventional opioids.
There is currently an international epidemic of opioid overdosing that has led, particularly in the USA, to thousands of deaths and multiple lawsuits against Big Pharma companies. Our compounds are completely different to those conventional mu opioid drugs in terms of mechanism, efficacy and side effect profile.
It was previously thought that activation of particular receptors would have the same effects irrespective of agonist structure but it is now believed that different structures can direct signalling down particular pathways, wanted or unwanted; this is agonist bias.
Current thinking is that preferentially activating G protein signalling vs arrestin protein signalling underpins optimal pharmacology for DOR agonists.