Auspex Pharmaceuticals, Creating A New Space In Deuterium-Analog Drugs
Auspex Pharmaceuticals is a venture-financed company developing a pipeline of deuterium-based drugs in several rare to large disease areas. As analogs to original compounds, formed by substituting deuterium for hydrogen in discrete locations in the drug molecule, the Auspex compounds are new chemical entities designed to improve safety and efficacy, refine dosing and administration, and boost patient compliance over existing therapies. Deuterium forms a much stronger bond with carbon than hydrogen does, and can attenuate the rate of metabolic breakdown of the drug in the body. The company claims the approach lowers the cost and risk of drug development by exploiting the known pharmacological, toxicological, and regulatory paths of existing therapies. Auspex’s lead compound is a deuterium-substituted analog of tetrabenazine for treating involuntary movements in Huntington’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome, and tardive dyskinesia. Other pipeline compounds target idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, inflammatory diseases, and neuropathic pain.