Tetra Discovery Partners, a drug discovery company developing a portfolio of innovative drugs for neurological and inflammatory diseases, has entered into a drug development collaboration with the Broad Institute's Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research in Cambridge, Mass. The focus of the collaboration will be to test the potential of Tetra's drug candidates for improving cognition in the Stanley Center's proprietary genetic models relating to schizophrenia.
The goals of the Stanley Center at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard are to discover the genetic and molecular underpinnings of psychiatric diseases and to contribute to improved treatments and diagnostic methods. The Stanley Center team uses the largest collection of DNA samples ever assembled from patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in order to scan the entire genome for gene variants that predispose to these illnesses. They use this knowledge of human gene variants to create the next generation of genetic models of schizophrenia. The mission of the Stanley Center is to decrease the burden of psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia through research aimed at understanding the genetic and molecular basis of such diseases, discovering and testing biomarkers and speeding the translation of new medicines to the clinic.
"This collaboration has brought together significant resources and people to discover the next generation of drugs to treat major psychiatric diseases," said Mark Gurney, Ph.D., Tetra's founder and CEO. "There is a need to better predict the potential efficacy of drugs with new mechanisms of action in translational models, and to better select patients for clinical trials. The team at the Stanley Center understands this challenge. This collaboration gives our schizophrenia program the highest chance of success." Gurney said a Tetra drug could be advanced into human clinical trials as early as 2015.