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Iproteos, a Catalan biotechnology company founded by professor Ernest Giralt and Dr. Teresa Tarragó, has published a study in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology with the Neuropsychopharmacology group at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), which is a member of CIBERSAM, and IRB Barcelona proving the efficacy of its compound IPR19 in animal models to reverse cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia. 

This candidate is currently in the regulatory preclinical phase, which the biotech firm is funding with the money raised in its latest round, led by Caixa Capital Risc and valued at €1.5 million. The drug could begin testing in humans in 2018, according to the firm’s projections.

IPR19 has been proven effective in three mouse models, testing their working and spatial memory, and has shown that the compound can reverse the cognitive impairment to return to baseline levels by modulating a new pathway.

IPR19 is a stable, innocuous molecule that can cross the barrier protecting the central nervous system, which allows it to carry out its therapeutic action –unlike most other potential drugs that are unable to do so.

This study provides a starting point for developing new drugs or therapies that target this symptomology of schizophrenia, the only one that currently lacks treatment. The clinical symptoms of schizophrenia are classified into three groups: positive, negative and cognitive.

Treatments exist for the first two, but not for the last one, which leads to decreased selective attention, difficulty processing social and emotional information and a loss of working memory.


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