, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp 372-380

Developing novel antiepileptic drugs: Characterization of NAX 5055, a systemically-active galanin analog, in epilepsy models

Summary

The endogenous neuropeptide galanin and its associated receptors galanin receptor 1 and galanin receptor 2 are highly localized in brain limbic structures and play an important role in the control of seizures in animal epilepsy models. As such, galanin receptors provide an attractive target for the development of novel anticonvulsant drugs. Our efforts to engineer galanin analogs that can penetrate the blood-brain-barrier and suppress seizures, yielded NAX 5055 (Gal-B2), a systemically-active analog that maintains low nanomolar affinity for galanin receptors and displays a potent anticonvulsant activity. In this report, we show that NAX 5055 is active in three models of epilepsy: 1) the Frings audiogenic seizure-susceptible mouse, 2) the mouse corneal kindling model of partial epilepsy, and 3) the 6 Hz model of pharmacoresistant epilepsy. NAX 5055 was not active in the traditional maximal electroshock and subcutaneous pentylenetetrazol seizure models. Unlike most antiepileptic drugs, NAX 5055 showed high potency in the 6 Hz model of epilepsy across all three different stimulation currents; i.e., 22, 32 and 44 mA, suggesting a potential use in the treatment of pharmacoresistant epilepsy. Furthermore, NAX 5055 was found to be biologically active after intravenous, intraperitoneal, and subcutaneous administration, and efficacy was associated with a linear pharmacokinetic profile. The results of the present investigation suggest that NAX 5055 is a first-in-class neurotherapeutic for the treatment of epilepsy in patients refractory to currently approved antiepileptic drugs.