Novel strategies to improve drug delivery to the CNS, for treatment of psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases

Novel strategies to improve drug delivery to the CNS, for treatment of psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. 
Theme: Treatments and translational neuroscience

Tuesday 25th April, 15:30 – 17:10
Session convened by the British Association for Psychopharmacology.

There is an urgent need for more effective treatments for CNS disorders but the blood-brain barrier (BBB) limits drug penetration and represents an additional hurdle in an already challenging development process. There have been extensive efforts to overcome this by encapsulating drugs within nanoparticles or combining them with cell-penetrating peptides, and administering them via the intranasal route to exploit direct nose to brain anatomical projections that bypass the BBB. This joint British Neuroscience Association (BNA) and British Association for Psychopharmacology (BAP) symposium will cover the latest developments in this exciting area. Determination of drug levels within the brain is essential to assess the efficacy of nose to brain transport, and Prof Al-Jamal will focus on qualitative and quantitative analysis of gold nanorods distribution following intranasal administration. Dr Petkova will explore the nose to brain route as a non-invasive means of delivering small molecules or gene therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases, using glycol chitonsan's mucoadhesive properties. Dr King will describe use of a novel cell-penetrating peptide to improve nose to brain delivery of oxytocin and thus also therapeutic potential against social deficits in schizophrenia. Dr Dickens will focus on a novel prodrug approach (4-Cl-KYN) targeting NMDA receptors to treat depression. He will outline how drug transporters at the BBB can be influenced (by chemical inhibition) to enhance drug concentration at the site of action, or by a personalised medicine strategy taking into account genetic variability (SNPs) in key transporters or metabolism enzymes. These strategies offer much-needed potential to improve treatment of psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Khuloud Al-Jamal, King's College London, UK: Quantitative and qualitative analyses of gold nanorods distribution in the brain following nose to brain administration
  • Omar Mokrane, University College London, UK: Delivery of CRISPR-Cas9 to the Brain for the Treatment of CNS Disease (co-chair)
  • Maddy King, University of Nottingham, UK: Use of a novel cell-penetrating peptide to facilitate nose-brain delivery of oxytocin for treatment of psychiatric illness (co-chair)
  • David Dickens, University of Liverpool, UK: Strategies to boost the brain delivery of a NMDA receptor antagonist by targeting drug transporters at the blood-brain barrier

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