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MCL 2252, 2253, 2642: Treatment of Sleep Disorders, Smoking, Marijuana Usage

Scott Lukas, Ph.D., Perry Renshaw, M.D., Ph.D.

Background and Description

The inventors have discovered that a class of compounds appear to have surprising efficacy on a number of common psychiatric disorders and conditions. This group of compounds includes a family of naturally-occurring small molecules with a history of safe use in humans, as well as derivatives and analogs thereof. Ongoing human studies on one compound within this family have shown that these compounds can potentially be used to affect the sleep/wake cycle in individuals having sleep disorders, and can reduce craving for tobacco or marihuana in individuals with a history of abusing these substances.

Potential Commercial Uses

In ongoing human studies, administration of an agent within this class of compounds had the following effects: a decrease in the number of cigarettes smoked per day, compared to subjects receiving a placebo; a decrease in the number of marihuana cigarettes smoked per day, over 3-10 weeks of treatment, again compared to placebo; and after 5 days of treatment, subjects with altered sleep/wake cycles (e.g., due to drug abuse) were restored to a normal, diurnal cycle. The invention therefore comprises methods of treating these disorders, using an agent selected from a family of naturally-occurring compounds and their derivatives.

Publication and Patent Status

McLean Hospital is the owner of pending U.S. patent applications claiming these inventions. The MCL 2252 and 2253 applications have also been filed in Europe, Japan, and several other countries, and the MCL 2642 application has been filed in Europe. Two U.S. patents have issued to cover methods of treating tobacco dependence (US Patents 7,053,064 and 7,601,701). (USPTO # 7,053,064 and 7,601,701)

Licenses Available

Exclusive licenses to this technology are available in certain fields of use.

For more information, please contact:

Anne Ritter, Licensing Manager
Partners Research Ventures and Licensing
(617) 954-9529