University of Oxford and Sound Pharmaceuticals begin Phase 2 clinical trial on novel treatment for bipolar disorder

By November 1, 2017January 13th, 2018News Short

Seattle, WA and Oxford, England

The University of Oxford and Sound Pharmaceuticals (SPI), are pleased to announce the initiation of a Phase 2 clinical trial of SPI-1005 for the treatment of patients with bipolar disorder. SPI-1005 is an oral drug that contains ebselen, which mimics and induces the activity of Glutathione Peroxidase (GPx) in the inner ear and brain. SPI-1005 is under clinical investigation in several neurotologic diseases where GPx activity is reduced including sensorineural hearing loss, ototoxicity/neurotoxicity, and Meniere’s disease. In addition to these neurotologic diseases, GPx activity is thought to be diminished in several neuropsychiatric disorders including bipolar, schizophrenia and autism. Bipolar disorder involves both mania and depression, and has been difficult to treat chronically. Lithium, a mainstay of bipolar treatment has significant dose-limiting side effects.

Dr. Philip Cowen, Principal Investigator of the Oxford study is a distinguished clinician in the Department of Psychiatry. He has received numerous awards for his groundbreaking work on the psychopharmacology of mood disorders, such as bipolar illness and treatment-resistant depression. “Patients with bipolar disorder and resistant depression need additional treatment options to better manage their illness especially in the chronic phase,” said Dr. Cowen. The Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI), a leading funder of clinical trials involving psychiatric disease, is providing support for this UK clinical trial. “This is our first Phase 2 clinical trial with Oxford and we are honored to collaborate with Dr. Cowen and the SMRI,” said Jonathan Kil, MD, Co-Founder, CEO and CMO. For more information regarding this UK based trial please see and NCT03013400.

SPI is a privately held biotech in Seattle, WA developing the first medications for the prevention and treatment of hearing loss and tinnitus SMRI is a nonprofit organization supporting research on the causes of, and treatments for, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. SMRI has supported more than $550 million in research in over 30 countries. Oxford University Department of Psychiatry works in close collaboration with clinical services, particularly Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust. Its leading clinical and translational academics provide a link with the world-class discovery science groups working in Oxford. The Department is committed to the translation of scientific discovery into benefits for patients. Its role is to champion patients’ interests by making basic research applicable to the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders and disease. The Department of Psychiatry has built expertise and extensive networks in a variety of research fields from molecular biology to brain imaging, from behavioural research to epidemiology, bringing together clinicians and scientists in all our research groups, and collaborating with leading experts in other departments and institutions.