Drug discovery programs

Axonova in-house R&D programs aim at identifying and developing new compounds originating from Southern African medicinal plants and marine organisms, with proven efficacy on neurodegenerative diseases. These innovative compounds are then licensed to pharmaceutical and nutraceutical companies for further development perspectives.


AXN-043 is an extract from an indigenous plant species that has been identified and selected from a phytochemical screening (by UHPLC-UV/MS analyses) out of 20 extracts. From all the extracts screened, AXN-043 represents a unique phytochemical profile comprising a combination of three major bioactive components, namely, isovitexin, apigenin and luteolin, capable of inducing neuro-protection and neuro-regeneration.

AXN-001: Plant-derived BDNF/TrkB modulators

This program, funded under the MRC-BRIG ($150,000 USD), is a research collaboration between Axonova and University of Mauritius.

Axonova has established a library of 60 extracts containing active molecules from a selection of Mauritian medicinal plants that are known either from traditional use, literature or chemical profiles to have central nervous system effects. The extracts have been tested in Axonova pharmacology platform. From all the 60 extracts screened, more than 10 showed interesting neuroprotective properties. Axonova is currently doing further characterization of the lead candidate(s) to determine the mechanism of action and assess the therapeutic properties in cellular models of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

AXN-002: Marine-derived neuroprotective modulators

This program, funded under the MRC-BRIG ($270,000 USD) is a research collaboration between Axonova, University of Western Cape (South Africa) and University of Aberdeen (Scotland).

The partners have already compiled a library of >160 extracts containing secondary metabolites derived from deep sea bacteria. The program is now in the cellular screening phase, aiming to identify lead extracts displaying neuroprotective and neuroregenerative properties in vitro.