A young French company specialized in developmental Neurobiology
Neurochlore is developing an innovative therapeutic strategy to ameliorate developmental brain pathologies. Located within the Mediterranean Institute of Neurobiology (Inmed, Marseille), a public French brain center founded by Dr. Ben-Ari, the company has formed close links with internationally recognized scientific experts in some fields of developmental Neurobiology and neurological disorders, favoring interactions between basic and applied research. Furthermore, extensive collaborations with drug developers and clinical experts in neuro-pediatrics and psychiatry enable Neurochlore to develop and test novel applications for its therapeutic agent. Indeed, Neurochlore has an international patent in the use of a diuretic, an antagonist of the NKCC1 chloride co-transporter, in the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and another syndrome associated with autism.
Clinical Trial on children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Neurochlore is currently developing a treatment, produced in France, which will be able to ameliorate ASD in children and adolescents. The company has already conducted a successful monocentric study (Lemonnier et al., Translational Psychiatry, 2012). More recently, in order to confirm the efficacy and tolerance of this new treatment, we have just completed a phase II clinical trial, approved by the EMA (European Medicines Agency), and held in 6 French centers (Brest, Limoges, Lyon, Marseille, Nice and Rouen; Lemonnier et al., article in press). This study will be soon followed by a double-blind randomized phase III study that, if successful, will allow to submit a registration application to the European health authorities. The treatment duration will be one year, and all patients will receive the active treatment at least for six months. For this trial, four hundred patients (children and adolescents) will be recruited in four or five other European countries.
Studies based on the regulation of the brain’s electrical activity by modulating intracellular chloride
Fundamental research at Neurochlore is organized around a wide range of animal models of ASD and syndromes with associated autism. Research topics are focused on the study of developmental sequence modifications of GABAergic and glutamatergic currents in pathologies, focusing in the periods in utero and during birth, periods that are not frequently investigated using experimental models. To determine the features of malformed brain currents/networks and the action of candidate drugs, a large range of techniques is used including electrophysiological recordings of in vitro slices, in vivo recordings, morphological analysis, and biochemical and molecular biology tools. Neurochlore’s team consists of about 20 people (technicians, assistant engineers, PhD students and researchers), and the company aims to recruit 3 to 4 more collaborators during 2017. The fundamental research is financed by several external sources notably the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation.