US-based Amygdala Neurosciences has signed an agreement to acquire GS-6637, a ALDH2 inhibitor from Gilead Sciences.
GS-6637 is a Phase II ready compound with the potential to treat behaviour and substance addictions.
Amygdala Neurosciences co-founder and CEO Peter Strumph said: "Completion of this transaction launches Amygdala Neurosciences with a Phase II ready asset that we believe has the potential to become a treatment for addiction.
"In 2017, we look forward to initiating clinical trials for the treatment of both cocaine and alcohol use disorders."
Using a new pathway to treat addiction, GS-6637 modifies dopaminergic tone by preventing pathophysiologic dopamine surges and associated craving without changes to basal dopamine.
The profile prevents craving and drug seeking behaviour and can also be used as a pharmacotherapy for substance and behaviour-based addictions.
Amygdala Neurosciences co-founder and chief science officer Ivan Diamond said: "Preventing relapse is a critical treatment objective. When exposed to stimuli associated with drug use, addicts experience a pathophysiologic dopamine surge that leads to craving and promotes drug relapse.
"In animal studies, GS-6637 decreased drug use and relapse by preventing the stimuli induced pathophysiologic dopamine surges, which result in craving and drug seeking behaviour."
Amygdala focuses on the development and commercialisation of first-in-class drug candidates for the treatment of addiction disorders.