German companies Lead Discovery Centre (LDC), Boehringer Ingelheim International and Max Planck Innovation have signed an agreement to provide Boehringer with the option to receive exclusive rights to a new lead compound that can be used to treat schizophrenia.

The lead compound will be discovered and developed at LDC.

The approach is built on the research results from a team led by professor Moritz Rossner at the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine in Gottingen, Germany.

Rossner will work in collaboration with the LDC team to recognise and optimise compounds with strong therapeutic potential and then develop it to the stage of a validated pharmaceutical lead with in vivo efficacy.

Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that affects nearly one in 100 people across the globe. The disorder entirely changes the way a person thinks, behaves and perceives the world.

" … This collaboration with the LDC and Boehringer Ingelheim is a great opportunity to advance … from our laboratory into pharmaceutical development."

Rossner said: "Schizophrenia is an incredibly complex disorder that dramatically changes the life of the individual affected.

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"We believe our approach holds strong potential to improve the treatment options for patients, and this collaboration with the LDC and Boehringer Ingelheim is a great opportunity to advance it from our laboratory into pharmaceutical development."

Boehringer will be a part of the project development team and will pay an option fee, along with allocating internal resources to the programme.

After the project receives proof-of-concept in relevant vivo models, Boehringer can exclusively licence the lead at pre-defined terms for later stages of preclinical and clinical development.

Image: Schizophrenia is related to the enlarged lateral ventricles in the patient’s brain. Photo: courtesy of BruceBlaus.