Terran Biosciences Announces New Breakthroughs in the Chemistry of MDMA
Terran Biosciences, a biotech platform company dedicated to the development of transformational therapeutics for neurological and psychiatric diseases, has announced the publication of a PCT patent application covering what may be the first comprehensive salt and polymorph screens of the empathogens MDMA, (R)-MDMA, (S)-MDMA, MDEA (MDE), (S)-MDEA, (R)-MDEA, MDAI, MBDB, (S)-MBDB, (R)-MBDB, and MEAI.
Empathogens can be simply defined as compounds that increase feelings of empathy. MDMA is the most studied empathogen to date and has been shown to be an effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in multiple phase 3 trials. Historically, MDMA has only been developed as a single salt and the crystal structures of its enantiomers had not been characterized. Recognizing the need for additional options for development, Terran’s solid state experts performed what may be the first comprehensive salt and polymorph screen of this compound, resulting in novel forms of MDMA.
As additional alternative to MDMA, Terran is also developing the closely related analog MDEA, which has been described in the literature as being a potential therapeutic alternative to MDMA with similar potency and ability to create strong empathogenic effects with some people reporting fewer undesirable side effects. In 1976, renowned chemist Alexander Shulgin reported the first human use of MDEA and noted it to have a faster onset and shorter duration than MDMA. As previously reported, Terran found that the S enantiomer of MDEA had significant advantages over the (R)-MDEA in preclinical models. Terran also developed the novel deuterated form of (S)-MDEA which possessed additional pharmacokinetic advantages.
Because the intense experience produced by MDMA requires administration and supervision by a trained professional, it may ultimately be limited to being dosed only in clinics. To develop additional options for patients, Terran is developing MBDB, MDAI, and MEAI, which are described as very mild empathogens that may be more suitable for at home use in the outpatient setting. The literature reports that MBDB acts rapidly and induces a milder sensorial experience than MDMA, which may be preferred by some patients. Terran is also developing the S enantiomer of MBDB which was shown to have significant advantages over (R)-MBDB in preclinical models.
The breakthroughs in solid state chemistry reported in this PCT application contain a body of work that spans multiple years and is one of the most comprehensive novel empathogen development programs in the industry. A full description of the innovative discoveries is detailed in the PCT application “PHENETHYLAMINE COMPOUNDS SALTS, POLYMORPHIC FORMS AND METHODS OF USE THEREOF” (WO2023092044)
Dr. Sam Clark, Terran’s CEO commented, “Developing important new innovations for a classic compound like MDMA was complex, but I am proud of our team for rising to the challenge. We believe that the discovery of these new forms of the empathogens MDMA, MDEA, MBDB, and other analogs, really changes the opportunity set for these molecules, enabling development programs for these new chemical entities. These advances help further fruitful collaboration between investors, industry, and the scientific communities, and makes available a broad set of therapeutic candidates with diverse use profiles customized for individual patient needs.”
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