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.

AXN001: Plant-derived BDNF/TrkB modulators

The AXN001 program aims to identify active molecules from indigenous plants of the Southern African region that can specifically modulate BDNF/TrkB signaling and enhance neuroprotection.

BDNF/TrkB signaling is a key player in neuronal survival, differentiation and neurite extension and plasticity. As neurotrophic support is severely damaged in neurodegenerative disorders, finding new therapeutic agents that can specifically target TrkB receptor represent a promising therapeutic strategy to prevent neuronal death.

AXN002: Plant-derived PDE4 inhibitors

The AXN002 program aims to identify active molecules from indigenous plants of the Southern African region that can specifically inhibit PDE signaling and enhance neuroprotection.

Phosphodiesterase inhibitors (PDE-Is) enhance cAMP and/or cGMP signaling by reducing the degradation of these cyclic nucleotides. Since both cAMP and cGMP signaling are essential in a variety of cellular functions, including neuroplasticity and neuroprotection, PDE-Is represent interesting targets for treatment of age-related cognitive decline.