Our Approach2018-11-08T22:56:37+00:00

Sound Science.

Cadent Therapeutics is rapidly advancing a pipeline of novel allosteric modulators of ion channels – taking a well-established pharmaceutical approach and stepping out into new territory. SK channels and NMDA receptors are ion channels that are critical for modulating the strength, timing, and integration of communication between and within neurons and neuronal networks in the central nervous system. But there are no approved drugs that are selective allosteric modulators of these ion channels.  Cadent’s first-of-its-kind approach has the potential to bring harmony back to neuronal rhythms, effectively “re-wiring” the brain to treat movement and cognitive disorders.

Patient
Selection

Use of genetics, translational biomarkers and other measures to carefully select patients

Patient Selection

For each disease we aim to treat, our goal is to target specific patient subsets based on genetics or other factors to identify the patients who will benefit most from treatment. In SCA, we are targeting only patients with genetically driven disease and in schizophrenia we are hoping our work in endpoint validation will lead to the development of relevant patient sub-groups that are most likely to benefit from intervention.

Target Specificity

Selection of novel, high-impact targets that can be modulated with specificity

Target Specificity

SK channels and NMDA channels are critical molecular determinants of brain circuit function, but have not been targeted with allosteric modulators for the treatment of movement or cognitive disorders. Allosteric modulation of ion channels is a proven approach to develop selective and clinically-meaningful CNS medicines. We have applied a proven medicinal chemistry approach to discover and develop positive and negative allosteric modulators of these ion channels as potential first-in-class therapeutics.

Drug Design + Optimization

Design of novel compounds to maximize benefit and minimize adverse effects

Drug Design + Optimization

We leverage our team’s significant industry experience in medicinal chemistry, target selection, drug discovery and drug optimization to rigorously evaluate our programs. Our goal is to produce candidates likely to achieve optimal efficacy with minimal side effects.

Quantitative Endpoints

Deploying novel insights to improve the precision of clinical endpoints

Quantitative Endpoints

We are working with pharmaceutical consortia and instrument companies to validate new “quantitative” endpoints that more accurately diagnose and measure disease severity than the current observation-based rating scales used by physicians. We are doing this by leveraging the best-possible measurement systems available in all of our programs.

Movement Disorders

To address movement disorders with limited or no treatment options, such as spinocerebellar ataxia and essential tremor, we are developing positive allosteric modulators (PAM) of SK channels (calcium-sensitive potassium ion channels). SK channels are expressed throughout the central nervous system and are responsible for regulating the amount of potassium that enters a cell and affect the inherent excitability of neurons and communication between synapses. Through SK channel modulation, we hope to control the firing rate (amount of times a neuron fires at any given time) and the firing pattern (allocation of firing over time), thereby restoring balance to the brain’s rhythms.

Cognitive Disorders

Among a number of psychiatric conditions leading to cognitive disorders, patients with schizophrenia and treatment resistant depression represent significant unmet need. Our approach aims to modulate the N-methyl-D-asparate receptor (NMDAr), one of a group of glutamate receptors responsible for efficient synaptic communication, which is important for controlling synaptic plasticity and memory function. Disruptions in the NMDAr signaling pathway, have been documented in a number of neuropsychiatric conditions including schizophrenia, mood disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, and other neuro-developmental disorders.

To address cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS), we aim to positively modulate NMDAr to reverse NMDAr hypofunction and restore cognitive balance. NMDAr hypofunction results in impairment of the brain’s ability to process and differentiate variations and novelty in stimuli, including different types of sounds. Proper functioning of NMDAr in the brain is critical for learning, memory and the ability to form new neuronal connections (neuroplasticity). In people with schizophrenia NMDAr dysregulation has been implicated in cognitive impairment. In experiments conducted on healthy subjects using NMDAr antagonists, Data have shown that impairment in one measure of sensory and cognitive processing, called Mismatch negativity (MMN), is correlated with cognitive deficit, negative symptoms, and deficit in global function, similar to that observed in patients with schizophrenia. Treatment with our NMDAr PAM preclinical studies has demonstrated to restore MMN in a model of NMDAr hypofunction.

Meet Our Executive Team

We have assembled a world-class team that is committed to bringing new, life-changing medicines to the people who need them most.

Michael Curtis, PhD

President and CEO

Michael Curtis is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Cadent Therapeutics with over 25 years of experience in bringing novel treatments to patients. Prior to joining Cadent Therapeutics, he was Senior Vice President of Product Development and Regulatory Affairs at Catabasis Pharmaceuticals with…

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Tim Piser, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Tim Piser is the Chief Scientific Officer of Cadent Therapeutics and has passionately pursued the discovery and development of neuroscience therapeutics for almost two decades in big pharma and in biotech, most notably at AstraZeneca and FORUM Pharmaceuticals. There, he led neuropharmacology…

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Bob Dagher, MD

Chief Medical Officer

Bob Dagher is the Chief Medical Officer of Cadent Therapeutics with responsibility over all medical matters including Clinical Research, Clinical Operations and Medical Affairs. Bob brings to Cadent Therapeutics a multi-year experience as an executive pharmaceutical and drug development physician with breadth…

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Gregg Keaney, PhD

Vice President of Product Development

Gregg Keaney is the Vice President of Product Development at Cadent Therapeutics and leads CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls) development, Phase 1 clinical operations, and a broad range of interdisciplinary portfolio management activities. At Ataxion Therapeutics, Gregg led…

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Meet the Cadent Team