VistaGen (NASDAQ: VTGN), a biopharmaceutical company developing new generation medicines for anxiety, depression and other central nervous system (“CNS”) disorders, today announced promising preclinical data for its PH10 drug candidate. The data demonstrate that the potential mechanism of action of PH10, VistaGen’s Phase 2 investigational pherine nasal spray with potential as a rapid-onset, stand-alone treatment for major depressive disorder (“MDD”), does not involve direct activation of GABA-A receptors. This is in distinct contrast to the mechanism of action of benzodiazepines, which act as direct positive modulators of GABA-A receptors. Instead, PH10 is designed to engage receptors in nasal chemosensory neurons, which in turn regulate limbic amygdala neurons that release excitatory neurotransmitters producing rapid-onset antidepressant effects. “These preclinical data suggest that PH10’s mechanism of action does not work through GABA-A receptors, unlike many other neurosteroids, suggesting it may not have benzodiazepine-like side effects, such as sedation and cognitive impairment, or abuse liability,” said VistaGen’s Chief Medical Officer Mark Smith, MD, PhD. “Using in vitro patch clamp electrophysiology, PH10 had no agonist or antagonist effects on GABA receptors. While PH10 may regulate endogenous GABA circuits in the brain, it does not appear to directly bind to or modulate GABA receptors at concentrations of less than 10 micromolar, which differentiates its mechanism of action from that of benzodiazepines.”
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About VistaGen Therapeutics Inc.
VistaGen is a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing innovative medicines with the potential to go beyond the current standard of care for anxiety, depression and other CNS disorders. Each of VistaGen’s three drug candidates has a differentiated potential mechanism of action, has been well-tolerated in all clinical studies to date and has therapeutic potential in multiple CNS markets. For more information, please visit www.VistaGen.com and connect with VistaGen on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.
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