Novel Compound for Cognition Enters Phase 1 Trial

Lab work
Lab work
Researchers believe the new drug may hold benefits for cognition but with less potential for side effects.

An experimental drug that has potential to improve memory will be the focus of a new Phase 1 safety trial.

The drug, developed by Tetra Discovery Partners and supported by the NIH Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network, is a first in class phosphodiesterase 4D negative allosteric modulator (PDE4D-NAM). PDE4D is known to play a role in neuron connectivity, and blocking it increases activity of the protein cyclic adenosine monophosphate, which enhances learning and memory.

A similar compound, Rolipram, has previously been shown to improve cognitive performance in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, and stroke; however it is not used clinically due to serious side effects. Researchers believe that the new compound, BPN14770, may hold similar benefits for cognition as Rolipram but with less potential for side effects.

CLINICAL CHART: Alzheimer’s Dementia Treatments

“We are pleased that BPN14770 has moved into a clinical study and we are eagerly awaiting the outcomes of the safety trial,” said Amir Tamiz, PhD, program director, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

The initial trial, which is being funded by the NINDS and the NIH’s National Institute on Aging, will focus on testing the safety and pharmacokinetics of BPN14770 in 48 healthy volunteers. If deemed safe, a phase 2 trial will begin to examine the compound’s effects on cognition.


New NIH-funded memory drug moves into Phase 1 clinical study. NIH News Release website. Published December 30, 2015. Accessed January 11, 2016.