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Exscientia starts trials of AI-designed Alzheimer’s drug

The new molecule – called DSP-0038 – is being developed by Japan’s Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma (DSP), which is now starting a phase 1 trial in the US as a treatment for psychosis associated with Alzheimer’s, and to see if it can improve behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.

According to the partners, DSP-0038 combines serotonin 5-HT2A receptor antagonism and 5-HT1A receptor agonism – two well established targets for antipsychotic drugs – in a single small molecule. At the same time it also avoids stimulating similar receptors, such as the dopamine D2 receptor, that can lead to unwanted side effects.

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