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Mercaptor Discoveries (Mercaptor), a company developing therapeutic agents active exclusively at the site of injury, announced the advancement of its preclinical program in epilepsy. The program culminates in human trials, beginning in early 2022.  Mercaptor is answering the immense need for a new approach to treating epilepsy and other Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders.

Mercaptor is developing Captons, a new class of therapeutic agents. Captons are inactive drugs that become active ONLY when encountering damaged areas inside the brain. Many drugs with documented activity against CNS disorders—including anti-inflammatory, immunosuppressant, and anti-excitatory —can be “captonized.” Captonization inactivates the drug while facilitating improved transit across the blood-brain barrier. Distributed evenly throughout the brain, exposure to damage causes Capton activation and target engagement.

In animal studies, Captons are observed to distribute efficiently to the CNS and to undergo near-quantitative, seizure-dependent activation in areas of stress. A recently published paper demonstrated that hydrogen peroxide, a molecule involved in activating Captons, is the trigger for all focal seizures. If true, Captons would not only control seizures, but would be the cure for Epilepsy.

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