Tansna Therapeutics, Inc., is a drug discovery and development company focused on novel therapies for the treatment of CNS disorders, with an initial focus on epilepsy. The company has identified a library of proprietary compounds that are derivatives of the marketed anesthetic propofol. These compounds are drug-like small-molecules, exhibit broad-spectrum CNS pharmacology, and are non-sedating.
Tansna’s lead is a novel anticonvulsant for the treatment of epilepsy. Epilepsy is a debilitating condition and one of the most common neurological disorders. At least 50 million people worldwide suffer from epilepsy, and the global anticonvulsant market is expected to reach $13 billion by 2018. Chronic, daily treatment with anticonvulsant drugs continues to be the standard of care for these patients, who often require several drugs and endure severe side effects (including headache, fatigue, and cognitive impairment) in an attempt to manage their seizures. Despite these efforts, a staggering 30% of epilepsy patients are refractory, which means that they are unable to achieve adequate seizure control using existing medications. Thus, there remains a significant unmet need for more effective and safer anticonvulsant drugs. Tansna aims to develop an oral anticonvulsant agent with an acceptable safety profile that will effectively reduce seizure frequency in all epilepsy patients, particularly those with refractory epilepsy.
In pursuit of this goal, Tansna has created proprietary anticonvulsant compounds with a unique structure. The performance of Tansna’s compounds in animal models differentiates them from currently marketed anticonvulsants. Specifically, unlike most marketed anticonvulsant drugs, Tansna’s lead compounds completely prevent seizures at safe doses in animal models of therapy-resistant epilepsy. These data underscore the potential for Tansna’s product to address the needs of refractory epilepsy patients.
As its primary product, Tansna is pursuing an oral formulation (i.e., a pill) for use as a daily anticonvulsant in patients with refractory epilepsy. As a broad-spectrum anticonvulsant, the agent will also be relevant to the broader epilepsy population. An intravenous formulation of a compound in Tansna’s portfolio could also be marketed as an emergency treatment for status epilepticus, a condition in which a patient experiences severe, prolonged seizures. Finally, some anticonvulsant drugs have found application in related neurology indications, such as anxiety, neuropathic pain, and migraine, and Tansna will explore the possibility that its development compounds possess activity in these attractive, multibillion-dollar markets as well.