According to the company, its central nervous system (CNS) CAPTON platform improves distribution and proportionate drug activity based on pathology in situ, as well as limiting drug exposure to those areas of the brain suffering pathogenic stress.
The chemistry behind the approach involves substituting an essential sulfonate group on suitably configured drugs with an activity-disqualifying thiol, yielding a small molecular therapeutic, termed Capton.
This technology could ‘meaningfully impact’ the treatment of brain disease and damage worldwide, Mercaptor said.
"Working with this platform has been the experience of a lifetime for us. It is the sort of technological leap forward that can change how therapies for the CNS are conceived and developed," said Dr. Todd Zankel, chief scientific officer of Mercaptor.
"The recent advent of AI will provide another boost to such efforts. Given the defined SAR behind our approach, we expect that AI will allow a more thorough and efficient exploration of chemical space, accelerating the identification of promising drug candidates and streamlining the development process."
Patients suffering from neurodegeneration, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease, as well as those subjected to brain trauma, including epilepsy, stroke, and TBI, have had little recourse to therapeutic intervention.
These largely unaddressed conditions share complex etiologies and limited pharmacological accessibility.
Captons, a new class of prodrugs discovered by Mercaptor’s team, are effectuated by sulfur-redox chemistry catalyzed by physiologically relevant transition metal ions.
Such chemistry can be readily detected in the body, but only in areas of the CNS suffering from a variety of insults, including neurodegeneration and trauma.
Studies by Mercaptor's scientists have demonstrated that these prodrugs, administered orally, become active only in the CNS, specifically in those areas where unchaperoned redox-active metal ions and ROS have reached pathogenic levels.
Building on this knowledge, the CAPTON platform can practice precision neurology with control over the location and dose of a variety of therapeutics.
"We are driven by a commitment to advance the field of neurodegenerative disease and deliver breakthrough therapies," said Sara Isbell, CEO of Mercaptor.
"Our CAPTON platform represents a revolutionary stride in shaping disease-modifying therapies for neurology. From combating brain degeneration to shielding against the perils of cosmic radiation during extended space travel, its applications span an astonishing breadth. The sheer versatility of CAPTON technology, from therapeutics to space exploration, underscores the remarkable and unexpected potential this innovation brings to the forefront."
Mercaptor is now seeking partnerships with research organizations and industry leaders to accelerate the development and commercialization of this technology.