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An FDA Approved Medication Discovered at Rensselaer



Mark P. Wentland

Professor Emeritus

RPI Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology


Tues, 9/21, at 4:00 PM -- Part 1: Drug Design and Synthesis

Part 1: Samidorphan was discovered in Cogswell Labs at Rensselaer as part of a NIH-funded effort to identify a long-acting oral medication to treat opioid use disorder in humans. The starting points for this effort were a biological hypothesis published by Rensselaer professor Sydney Archer and co-authors and the lead compound, cyclazocine, discovered by Dr. Archer in the early 1960's. Using rational drug design and modern synthetic techniques, a 500 compound library was made that included samidorphan.

(Reception on Tues, 9/21 at 3:30 PM in CBIS Auditorium Lobby)

Tuesday WebEx Link:  https://rensselaer.webex.com/rensselaer/j.php?MTID=m8024295c7113e8b14d136e1016de2c14


Wed, 9/22, at 10:00 AM -- Part 2: Navigating “The Valley of Death”

Part 2: The process of translating NIH-funded academic biomedical research into an FDA-approved medicine has all too often failed due to "The Valley of Death". Rensselaer's medicinal chemists and the Office of Intellectual Property Optimization as well as outside patent experts efficiently navigated this process to the point of inking a license agreement with the Irish biotech company Alkermes, Inc. In an effort to commercialize one or more compounds in Rensselaer's IP portfolio, Alkermes found that samidorphan mitigated the weight gain side effect in patients taking olanzapine, a highly effective medication to treat schizophrenia and bipolar I disorder.  Alkermes expertly performed the necessary preclinical and clinical tasks to bring the now FDA-approved samidorphan-olanzapine combination (LYBALVIÔ) from the "bench to bedside". 

Wednesday WebEx  Link:  https://rensselaer.webex.com/rensselaer/j.php?MTID=mfb71163e78547e7a74975c247b751e40


Both lectures will be held live in CBIS Isermann Auditorium and via WebEx.


Seminar Schedule (Fall, 2021)

Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Tuesday 4:00 PM, Webex Meetings