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AstraZeneca Licenses Novel Antidepressant Compounds Discovered by Mayo Clinic and Virginia Tech Collaboration
Date:2/9/2009

Agreement includes research collaboration to generate follow-up TRI compounds

WILMINGTON, Del., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AstraZeneca, Mayo Clinic, and Virginia Tech Intellectual Properties Inc. today announced that AstraZeneca has licensed a portfolio of preclinical Triple Reuptake Inhibitor (TRI) compounds for depression. Researchers at Virginia Tech and Mayo Clinic collaborated to discover the compounds. The agreement provides AstraZeneca with a global license for all uses of the compounds, as well as exclusive manufacturing and commercial rights. It also establishes a research collaboration that will focus on jointly generating additional novel TRI compounds. Financial details were not disclosed.

Current classes of antidepressant therapies such as selective serotonin (SSRI) and dual serotonin/norepinephrine (SNRI) reuptake inhibitors are proven treatments for depression and anxiety. However, they only address the imbalances of one or two of the neurotransmitters in the brain.

Paul R. Carlier, Professor of Organic and Medicinal Chemistry at Virginia Tech, explains, "Together with our colleagues at Mayo Clinic, we have been seeking wider-spectrum behavior and have developed a portfolio of TRIs to address imbalances associated with the three major neurotransmitters. Besides incorporating all the benefits associated with serotonin and norepinephrine inhibition, our TRI compounds include the additional action of the dopamine neurotransmitter. We are excited to discover additional compounds that work through this unique mechanism."

Elliott Richelson, M.D., Mayo Clinic, co-inventor of the technology adds, "Through our clinical practice, we recognize the need for improved therapies to treat individuals suffering from depression or anxiety. The additional dopamine action of our TRI compounds has the potential to deliver a superior antidepressant in terms of greater
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SOURCE AstraZeneca
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