TARRYTOWN, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PsychoGenics Inc. announced today that it has received a license to use the Cntnap2 knockout mouse from Yeda R&D Co. Ltd., the technology transfer company of the Weizmann Institute of Science. The CNTNAP2 gene encodes for Contactin Associated Protein 2 (Caspr2), a member of the neurexin family of cell recognition molecules. Mutations in this gene are associated with schizophrenia, autism, ADHD and language impairment.
The Cntnap2 homozygous null mice were developed by Dr. Elior Peles. This model shows characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and ADHD such as deficits in a social test, hyperactivity in novel environments and changes in gait. Published reports describe reduced neonatal vocalizations, increased repetitive behavior and seizures, neuronal migration deficits with reduced interneuron number and asynchronous firing. In addition, pharmacological treatment with the antipsychotic risperidone improved repetitive behavior. Aspects of this phenotype were confirmed and expanded at PsychoGenics. This novel model of ASD promises to advance drug screening and development for ASD and associated disorders.
“We have had the opportunity to extensively characterize the Cntnap2 knockout model in collaboration with the Simons Foundation and Roche, research that extends and complements the original published paper describing the phenotype of this important mouse model,” said Dr. Emer Leahy, President and CEO of PsychoGenics. “We are now delighted to offer behavioral and non-behavioral testing services in this model to our clients to help identify new treatments for ASD and associated disorders that have historically lacked satisfactory in vivo models.”
PsychoGenics is a leader in in vivo phenotypic drug discovery. The Company applies its proprietary technology platforms in partnership with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to discover the next generation of drugs for neuropsychiatric disorders. PsychoGenics' capabilities also include standard behavioral testing, electrophysiology, molecular biology as well as state-of-the-art microdialysis and dendritic spine analysis. In addition, the company offers a variety of in-licensed transgenic mouse models that support research in areas such as Huntington’s disease, Autism spectrum disorder, psychosis/schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Muscular Dystrophy and other muscle disorders. For more information about PsychoGenics Inc., visit www.psychogenics.com.