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BlackThorn Therapeutics Reports New Insights into Neurobehavioral Disorders at the 49th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience

October 23, 2019 GMT


BlackThorn Therapeutics, Inc., today announced that the company presented new data science research into the underlying biology of neurobehavioral disorders at the 49 th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) taking place October 19-23 in Chicago.

“CNS drug discovery and development needs biology-based, data-driven strategies to achieve better treatment outcomes for people with neurobehavioral disorders,” said Bill Martin, Ph.D., BlackThorn’s chief executive officer. “Our data science research presented at SfN highlights key technological advances we are making to process brain imaging data at scale which yields insights into the biological basis of behavior as well as treatment response. We are applying our learnings to advance our pipeline of targeted therapeutics starting with a phase 2 trial of our KOR antagonist, BTRX-140, in patients with major depressive disorder, which is on track to start by year-end.”

BlackThorn’s presentations at SfN highlighted research enabled by pathfinder™, the company’s cloud-based computational psychiatry platform for multimodal data collection, integration and analysis at scale. Leveraging pathfinder™, the company creates a quantitative, brain-based understanding of neurobehavioral disorders. BlackThorn applies these data-driven insights to create treatments targeted to biologically-based subtypes of patients with the goal of increasing the precision of therapeutic intervention.

BlackThorn’s Data Science Presentations at SfN

About BlackThorn’s Lead Clinical Program: BTRX-140

BTRX-140 is a potent, selective small molecule antagonist of the kappa opioid receptor (KOR), which was discovered as part of a research collaboration with The Scripps Research Institute. The KOR/dynorphin system is known to be a major stress response signaling pathway in the brain. KOR/dynorphin ‘tone’ contributes significantly to regulating brain circuits involved in motivation and emotion, and recently BlackThorn demonstrated the involvement of KOR/dynorphin in executive functions. Dysfunction of the KOR/dynorphin system is associated with anhedonia, anxiety and cognitive impairment, which are key drivers of disability in numerous psychiatric and neurological disorders. BTRX-140 is intended to normalize dysregulated brain networks by altering activity of KOR through dynorphin blockade. BTRX-140 was found to be well tolerated in single and multiple ascending dose studies in healthy volunteers.

About BlackThorn Therapeutics

BlackThorn Therapeutics, Inc., is a clinical-stage, neurobehavioral health company committed to improving the lives of people with neurobehavioral disorders through the discovery and development of novel, targeted therapeutics. Our goal is to empower patients and physicians to make treatment decisions and plans based on an individual’s profile across the spectrum of neurobehavioral health. In order to address historical challenges in CNS drug development, we have engineered pathfinder™, a proprietary computational psychiatry platform to capture, quantify and model multiple data types. We use pathfinder™ to better understand how networks of brain activity relate to normal and disordered behavior, and we employ high performance computing, predictive models and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to accelerate the entire process. We apply pathfinder™ outputs to identify novel targets, small molecule drug candidates and biologically-based patient subgroups. Our lead clinical program is focused on BTRX-140, a selective KOR antagonist, for which a phase 2 trial in major depressive disorder is expected to begin in 4Q:19. Our second clinical program is focused on a selective V1aR antagonist for the potential treatment of autism spectrum disorder, for which a phase 1 trial is expected to begin in early 2020. Both molecules were discovered in collaboration with The Scripps Research Institute. BlackThorn is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For more information, please visit blackthornrx.com.

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SOURCE: BlackThorn Therapeutics

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PUB: 10/23/2019 08:30 AM/DISC: 10/23/2019 08:30 AM