Synaptic Pharmaceutical Corp. has published its identificationof a new site for possible therapeutic intervention in braindisorders, a gene coding for a molecular receptor of nerve cellmessages.

The Paramus, N.J., company, which in March filed an initialpublic offering, identified a specific site of action for serotonin,using a new Glaxo drug called sumatriptan. Serotonin is aneurotransmitter believed to play a role in migraine, whichsumatriptan treats, and other neurologic and psychiatricdisorders.

Synaptic, formerly called Neurogenetic Corp., intends to designmore selective serotonin agents than sumatriptan, said PaulHartig, vice president for research. The company has a researchagreement with Eli Lilly and Co. to discover and develop drugsto treat central and peripheral nervous system disorders. Lillyhas a worldwide exclusive license for Synaptic's cloned humanserotonin receptors.

The results, published in the current Proceedings of theNational Academy of Sciences, showed that the serotonin 1Dalpha and 1D beta binding sites are distinct molecules, asdemonstrated by their cloning, and deduced different aminoacid sequences. -- Roberta Friedman, Ph.D.

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.