Org 24448 is an ampakine that intensifies the action of the AMPA type glutamate receptors in the brain, which may in turn influence cognitive functions such as thinking, attention, and memory.Org 24448 is currently in phase II of development for the treatment of schizophrenia both as a single treatment and in combination with other medications.
Testing of Org 24448 will take place in the TURNS network, which was established in May 2004. The TURNS initiative, a four year $9 million program funded by the NIMH, aims to identify compounds of interest and conduct proof of concept clinical studies on the treatment of cognitive deficits in schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disease. Approximately 1 percent of the population develops schizophrenia during their lifetime – more than 2 million Americans suffer from the disease in a given year. Although currently available medications are reasonably effective in treating the positive symptoms of the disease such as hallucinations and delusions, recent research indicates that cognitive impairments that accompany schizophrenia in areas such as attention, memory, and problem solving skills are responsible for much of the disability associated with the disease.
The selection of Organon’s Org 24448 as one of the first compounds for testing was the culmination of a formal review of a large pool of nominated compounds by the TURNS Target and Compound Selection Committee. The decision of this Committee was based on data indicating a possible marked alleviation of cognitive dysfunction with Org 24448. Org 24448 represents a new concept in the treatment of schizophrenia and other disorders of the central nervous system. Organon licensed the rights to develop ampakines for the treatment of schizophrenia and depression from Cortex Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Irvine, California, USA); Org 24448 is the result of a two year collaborative research program.
“Cognitive dysfunction has a devastating impact on patients’ and their families’ lives and through this historic project we are determined to make treatments available as quickly as possible. The medications currently available to treat schizophrenia do little to remedy the cognitive aspect of this disease. Org 24448 was selected from a large number of submitted compounds on the basis of its promise in relation to cognitive dysfunction,” commented Stephen R. Marder MD at Universityof California, Los Angeles(UCLA) and TURNS Principal Investigator.