ATAI Life Sciences partners with Neuronasal to develop concussion treatment

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ATAI Life Sciences, a German biotech company focused on developing drugs for mental illnesses, has partnered with Neuronasal to develop a short-term treatment for mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or concussion.

Neuronasal’s concussion treatment includes the intranasal delivery of low doses of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) to patients with acute concussion. N-acetylcysteine has been safely used for several years, primarily as a mucolytic and for the treatment of acute paracetamol intoxication.

The compound is a precursor of cysteine which triggers the synthesis of glutathione which is the most abundant endogenous antioxidant that prevents oxidative damage to cellular components. Apart from that, N-acetylcysteine is a direct antioxidant, while having anti-inflammatory, and free radical scavenging effects.

The compound is also an inhibitory glutamatergic modulator.

Thomas Bradshaw – CEO of Neuronasal said: “Neuronasal has the potential to transform the way we treat those most at risk of mTBI, with applications in sports, the military, and daily life.

“Unsurprisingly, we’ve seen incredible interest from everyone from the Department of Defense to the National Collegiate Athletic Association.”

According to ATAI Life Sciences, the intranasal approach employed by Neuronasal facilitates direct nose-to-brain delivery, thereby enabling considerably lower doses and outpatient treatment.

A pilot study studying the effects of intranasal administration of N-acetylcysteine on regional brain glutathione concentrations in healthy volunteers is likely to start in February 2020.

Dr. Matthias Luz – Chief Medical Officer of ATAI Life Sciences said: “It’s clear that concussions and other mTBIs are more than just uncomfortable.

“In the hours and days after trauma, these injuries trigger a pathophysiological cascade that can result in significant, life-limiting conditions if not adequately addressed.”

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