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Wilson F.J.,Medical Imaging and Physiological Measurements Consultant | Leiser S.C.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | Ivarsson M.,Astrazeneca | Christensen So.R.,Lundbeck | Bastlund J.F.,Lundbeck
Drug Discovery Today | Year: 2014

Pharmaco-electroencephalography has significant yet unrealised promise as a translatable intermediate biomarker of central pharmacodynamic activity that could help reduce Phase 2 attrition in the development of central nervous system drugs. In an effort to understand its true potential, a framework for decision-making was proposed and the utility of pharmaco-electroencephalography was assessed through several case studies. A key finding was that lack of standardisation reduces the value of data pooling and meta-analyses and renders assessment of translatability difficult, limiting utility in all but simple cases. Pre-competitive collaboration is essential both to improving understanding of translation and developing modern signal processing techniques. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Sanchez C.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | Reines E.H.,Lundbeck | Montgomery S.A.,University of London
International Clinical Psychopharmacology | Year: 2014

It is known that newer antidepressants, such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), provide advantages in tolerability over antidepressants such as the tricyclics. However, even within the SSRI class, differences in efficacy or tolerability exist between the individual drugs. Among the three most widely prescribed SSRIs are paroxetine, sertraline, and escitalopram. Escitalopram is commonly referred to as an SSRI, but also has well-documented allosteric properties, and thus can be further classed as an allosteric serotonin reuptake inhibitor. All three antidepressants are efficacious compared with placebo, but there is evidence that escitalopram is more effective than a range of other antidepressants. There are no direct data to regard either paroxetine or sertraline as a superior antidepressant. Escitalopram is superior compared with paroxetine, which has a less favorable tolerability profile. Paroxetine is associated with cholinergic muscarinic antagonism and potent inhibition of CYP2D6, and sertraline has moderate drug interaction issues in comparison with escitalopram. Overall, as an allosteric serotonin reuptake inhibitor that is somewhat different from classical SSRIs, escitalopram is the first choice judged by combined efficacy and tolerability, and nonclinical data have offered possible mechanisms through which escitalopram could be more efficacious, based on its interaction with orthosteric and allosteric binding sites at the serotonin transporter. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.


Mork A.,Lundbeck | Montezinho L.P.,Lundbeck | Miller S.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | Trippodi-Murphy C.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | And 4 more authors.
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior | Year: 2013

The serotonergic system plays an important role in cognitive functions via various 5-HT receptors. Vortioxetine (Lu AA21004) in development as a novel multimodal antidepressant is a 5-HT3, 5-HT7 and 5-HT 1D receptor antagonist, a 5-HT1B receptor partial agonist, a 5-HT1A receptor agonist and a 5-HT transporter (5-HTT) inhibitor in vitro. Preclinical studies suggest that 5-HT3 and 5-HT7 receptor antagonism as well as 5-HT1A receptor agonism may have a positive impact on cognitive functions including memory. Thus vortioxetine may potentially enhance memory. We investigated preclinical effects of vortioxetine (1-10 mg/kg administered subcutaneously [s.c.]) on memory in behavioral tests, and on cortical neurotransmitter levels considered important in rat memory function. Contextual fear conditioning and novel object recognition tests were applied to assess memory in rats. Microdialysis studies were conducted to measure extracellular neurotransmitter levels in the rat medial prefrontal cortex. Vortioxetine administered 1 h before or immediately after acquisition of contextual fear conditioning led to an increase in freezing time during the retention test. This mnemonic effect was not related to changes in pain sensitivity as measured in the hotplate test. Rats treated with vortioxetine 1 h before training spent more time exploring the novel object in the novel object recognition test. In microdialysis studies of the rat medial prefrontal cortex, vortioxetine increased extracellular levels of acetylcholine and histamine. In conclusion, vortioxetine enhanced contextual and episodic memory in rat behavioral models. Further demonstration of its potential effect on memory functions in clinical settings is warranted. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Westrich L.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | Sprouse J.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc.
Current Opinion in Investigational Drugs | Year: 2010

When circadian rhythms - the daily oscillations of various physiological and behavioral events that are controlled by a central timekeeping mechanism - become desynchronized with the prevailing light:dark cycle, a maladaptative response can result. Animal data based primarily on genetic manipulations and clinical data from biomarker and gene expression studies support the notion that circadian abnormalities underlie certain psychiatric disorders. In particular, bipolar disorder has an interesting link to rhythm-related disease biology; other mood disturbances, such as major depressive disorder, seasonal affective disorder and the agitation and aggression accompanying severe dementia (sundowning), are also linked to changes in circadian rhythm function. Possibilities for pharmacological intervention derive most readily from the molecular oscillator, the cellular machinery that drives daily rhythms. © Thomson Reuters (Scientific) Ltd.


Nguyen H.,Texas A&M University | Ma G.,Texas A&M University | Ma G.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | Romo D.,Texas A&M University
Chemical Communications | Year: 2010

A concise, enantioselective synthesis of the Phase I anticancer agent, (-)-salinosporamide A, is described. The brevity of the described strategy stems from a key bis-cyclization of a β-keto tertiary amide, accomplished on gram scale, which retains optical purity enabled by A1,3-strain rendering epimerization slow relative to the rate of bis-cyclization. The versatility of the strategy for derivative synthesis is demonstrated by the synthesis of (-)-homosalinosporamide A. © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Pehrson A.L.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | Sanchez C.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc.
CNS Spectrums | Year: 2014

Monoamine-based treatments for depression have evolved greatly over the past several years, but shortcomings such as suboptimal efficacy, treatment lag, and residual cognitive dysfunction are still significant. Preclinical and clinical studies using compounds directly targeting glutamatergic neurotransmission present new opportunities for antidepressant treatment, with ketamine having a surprisingly rapid and sustained antidepressant effect that is presumably mediated through glutamate-dependent mechanisms. While direct modulation of glutamate transmission for antidepressant and cognition-enhancing actions may be hampered by nonspecific effects, indirect modulation through the serotonin (5-HT) system may be a viable alternative approach. Based on localization and function, 5-HT can modulate glutamate neurotransmission at least through the 5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT3, and 5-HT7 receptors, which presents a rational pharmacological opportunity for modulating glutamatergic transmission without the direct use of glutamatergic compounds. Combining one or more of these glutamate-modulating 5-HT targets with 5-HT transporter inhibition may offer new therapeutic opportunities. The multimodal compounds vortioxetine and vilazodone are examples of this approach with diverse mechanisms, and their different clinical effects will provide valuable insights into serotonergic modulation of glutamate transmission for the potential treatment of depression and associated cognitive dysfunction. © Cambridge University Press 2013.


Leiser S.C.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | Dunlop J.,Pfizer | Bowlby M.R.,Merck And Co. | Devilbiss D.M.,University of Wisconsin - Madison
Biochemical Pharmacology | Year: 2011

Electroencephalography (EEG) and related methodologies offer the promise of predicting the likelihood that novel therapies and compounds will exhibit clinical efficacy early in preclinical development. These analyses, including quantitative EEG (e.g. brain mapping) and evoked/event-related potentials (EP/ERP), can provide a physiological endpoint that may be used to facilitate drug discovery, optimize lead or candidate compound selection, as well as afford patient stratification and Go/No-Go decisions in clinical trials. Currently, the degree to which these different methodologies hold promise for translatability between preclinical models and the clinic have not been well summarized. To address this need, we review well-established and emerging EEG analytic approaches that are currently being integrated into drug discovery programs throughout preclinical development and clinical research. Furthermore, we present the use of EEG in the drug development process in the context of a number of major central nervous system disorders including Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and pain. Lastly, we discuss the requirements necessary to consider EEG technologies as a biomarker. Many of these analyses show considerable translatability between species and are used to predict clinical efficacy from preclinical data. Nonetheless, the next challenge faced is the selection and validation of EEG endpoints that provide a set of robust and translatable biomarkers bridging preclinical and clinical programs. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.


Jensen J.B.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | du Jardin K.G.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | Song D.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | Budac D.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | And 3 more authors.
European Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2014

Depressed patients suffer from cognitive dysfunction, including memory deficits. Acute serotonin (5-HT) depletion impairs memory and mood in vulnerable patients. The investigational multimodal acting antidepressant vortioxetine is a 5-HT3, 5-HT7 and 5-HT1D receptor antagonist, 5-HT1B receptor partial agonist, 5-HT1A receptor agonist and 5-HT transporter (SERT) inhibitor that enhances memory in normal rats in novel object recognition (NOR) and conditioned fear (Mørk et al., 2013). We hypothesized that vortioxetine's 5-HT receptor mechanisms are involved in its memory effects, and therefore investigated these effects in 5-HT depleted rats. Four injections of the irreversible tryptophan hydroxylase inhibitor 4-chloro-dl-phenylalanine methyl ester hydrochloride (PCPA, 86mg/kg, s.c.) induced 5-HT depletion, as measured in hippocampal homogenate and microdialysate. The effects of acute challenge with vortioxetine or the 5-HT releaser fenfluramine on extracellular 5-HT were measured in PCPA-treated and control rats. PCPA's effects on NOR and spontaneous alternation (SA) performance were assessed along with the effects of acute treatment with 5-hydroxy-l-tryptophan (5-HTP), vortioxetine, the selective 5-HT reuptake inhibitor escitalopram, or the 5-HT norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor duloxetine. SERT occupancies were estimated by ex vivo autoradiography. PCPA depleted central 5-HT by >90% in tissue and microdialysate, and impaired NOR and SA performance. Restoring central 5-HT with 5-HTP reversed these deficits. At similar SERT occupancies (>90%) vortioxetine, but not escitalopram or duloxetine, restored memory performance. Acute fenfluramine significantly increased extracellular 5-HT in control and PCPA-treated rats, while vortioxetine did so only in control rats. Thus, vortioxetine restores 5-HT depletion impaired memory performance in rats through one or more of its receptor activities. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP.


du Jardin K.G.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | Jensen J.B.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | Sanchez C.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | Pehrson A.L.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc.
European Neuropsychopharmacology | Year: 2014

We previously reported that the investigational multimodal antidepressant, vortioxetine, reversed 5-HT depletion-induced memory deficits while escitalopram and duloxetine did not. The present report studied the effects of vortioxetine and the potential impact of its 5-HT1A receptor agonist and 5-HT3 receptor antagonist properties on 5-HT depletion-induced memory deficits. Recognition and spatial working memory were assessed in the object recognition (OR) and Y-maze spontaneous alternation (SA) tests, respectively. 5-HT depletion was induced in female Long-Evans rats using 4-cholro-DL-phenylalanine methyl ester HCl (PCPA) and receptor occupancies were determined by ex vivo autoradiography. Rats were acutely dosed with vortioxetine, ondansetron (5-HT3 receptor antagonist) or flesinoxan (5-HT1A receptor agonist). The effects of chronic vortioxetine administration on 5-HT depletion-induced memory deficits were also assessed. 5-HT depletion reliably impaired memory performance in both the tests. Vortioxetine reversed PCPA-induced memory deficits dose-dependently with a minimal effective dose (MED) ≤0.1mg/kg (~80% 5-HT3 receptor occupancy; OR) and ≤3.0mg/kg (5-HT1A, 5-HT1B, 5-HT3 receptor occupancy: ~15%, 60%, 95%) in SA. Ondansetron exhibited a MED ≤3.0μg/kg (~25% 5-HT3 receptor occupancy; OR), but was inactive in the SA test. Flesinoxan had a MED ≤1.0mg/kg (~25% 5-HT1A receptor occupancy; SA); only 1.0mg/kg ameliorated deficits in the NOR. Chronic p.o. vortioxetine administration significantly improved memory performance in OR and occupied 95%, 66%, and 9.5% of 5-HT3, 5-HT1B, and 5-HT1A receptors, respectively. Vortioxetine's effects on SA performance may involve 5-HT1A receptor agonism, but not 5-HT3 receptor antagonism, whereas the effects on OR performance may involve 5-HT3 receptor antagonism and 5-HT1A receptor agonism. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. and ECNP.


Leiser S.C.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | Pehrson A.L.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | Robichaud P.J.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc. | Sanchez C.,Lundbeck Research United States Inc.
British Journal of Pharmacology | Year: 2014

Background and Purpose EEG studies show that 5-HT is involved in regulation of sleep-wake state and modulates cortical oscillations. Vortioxetine is a 5-HT3, 5-HT7, and 5-HT1D receptor antagonist, 5-HT1B partial agonist, 5-HT1A agonist, and 5-HT transporter inhibitor. Preclinical (animal) and clinical studies with vortioxetine show positive impact on cognitive metrics involving cortical function. Here we assess vortioxetine's effect on cortical neuronal oscillations in actively awake rats. Experimental Approach Telemetric EEG recordings were obtained with the following treatments (mg·kg-1, s.c.): vehicle, vortioxetine (0.1, 1.0, 3.0, 10), 5-HT1A agonist flesinoxan (2.5), 5-HT3 antagonist ondansetron (0.30), 5-HT7 antagonist SB-269970-A (10), escitalopram (2.0), duloxetine (10) and vortioxetine plus flesinoxan. Target occupancies were determined by ex vivo autoradiography. Key Results Vortioxetine dose-dependently increased wakefulness. Flesinoxan, duloxetine, ondansetron, but not escitalopram or SB-269970-A increased wakefulness. Quantitative spectral analyses showed vortioxetine alone and with flesinoxan increased θ (4-8Hz), α (8-12Hz) and γ (30-50Hz) power. Duloxetine had no effect on θ and γ, but decreased α power, while escitalopram produced no changes. Ondansetron and SB-269970 (≈31-35% occupancy) increased θ power. Flesinoxan (≈41% occupancy) increased θ and γ power. Conclusions and Implications Vortioxetine increased wakefulness and increased frontal cortical activity, most likely because of its 5-HT7 and 5-HT 3 antagonism and 5-HT1A agonism. Vortioxetine differs from escitalopram and duloxetine by increasing cortical θ, α and γ oscillations. These preclinical findings suggest a role of vortioxetine in modulating cortical circuits known to be recruited during cognitive behaviours and warrant further investigation as to their clinical impact. © 2014 The British Pharmacological Society.

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