Saturday, March 05, 2005

NRP104 Pipeline Update;
New Old Drug for ADHD

I haven't written about neuroscience for a long time.  Since Tuesday, to be exact.  That has got to change.  Yesterday, I found some information about NRP104.  Due to clamoring demand from hordes of readers, all curious about NRP104, I'll tell all I know.  It is a

For decades, amphetamine has been one of the two main treatments for ADHD.  Amphetamine and methylphenidate are old molecular entities, so the only marketing action has been in repackaging them into various intermediate and long-acting forms. 

When I read that yet another company is coming up with yet another way to deliver amphetamine to the human brain, I thought there couldn't be much substance to it.  Perhaps I was wrong.  A company called New River Pharmaceuticals has developed what they call Carrierwave™ technology.  Basically, this is a method of modifying existing drugs to alter their pharmacokinetics: where they go in the body, how fast they get there, and how quickly they go away.  Of course we have to have a long Latin-sounding name for that.  (NEJM has a good, free, but somewhat technical review of the clinical implications of pharmacokinetics here.)

If you don't want to wade through all the technical stuff, but are curious about how  alterations in a drug's pharamcokinetics can make it better, or worse, read the rest here.