Late Breaking Abstract on DRX-065 in Mouse Models of NASH at the Liver Meeting 2016

21/10/2016  12:50

Sheila DeWitt (President and CEO of DeuteRx, Andover, MA, USA) will be presenting a late breaking abstract/poster on the effects of DRX-065 in mouse models of NASH at the Liver Meeting 2016 to be held at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center, Boston, MA, USA, 11-15 November, 2016. This is the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). 

Details of the abstract are:

Sharon C Cheetham, Sheila H DeWitt, Keith Dickinson, Vincent Jacques, Lex H Van der Ploeg and Steven Vickers. Efficacy of DRX-065, the stabilized R-enantiomer of pioglitazone (pio), in choline-deficient (CD) and methionine/choline deficient (MCD) diet mouse models of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). LB-32. (Hepatology, Volume 64, Number 6 (Suppl): 1137A).

The study was performed by RenaSci. The MCD and CD diets induce changes in liver enzymes, liver lipids and liver pathology, consistent with the development of NASH. The MCD diet produces marked weight-loss. The CD diet produces a much smaller decrease in body weight compared to mice on normal diet and therefore has a clear advantage over the MCD diet.

Pioglitazone has been shown to improve NASH and fibrosis scores and to reduce hepatic triglycerides in clinical trials for the treatment of NASH. However, its use is limited by its side-effects of weight gain and oedema. Pioglitazone is a mixture of R- and S-enantiomers which chemically interconvert. DRX-065, the deuterium-stabilized R-enantiomer of pioglitazone, has the potential to treat NASH without the undesirable fluid retention and weight gain associated with pioglitazone. The results of the studies in mice maintained on the CD and MCD diets support the development of DRX-065 for the treatment of NASH.

For further information about DRX-065, which is in clinical development, please contact Dr Sheila DeWitt at

For further information about our CD and MCD diet mouse models of NASH please contact

Measurement of Drugs in Microdialysates

 06/04/2016 11:40

RenaSci have recently joined forces with pharm-analyt to offer our clients a new service – measurement of drugs and neurotransmitters in the same microdialysate sample.   

Pharm-analyt is a fully-independent bioanalytical company based in Vienna, Baden. The company have been measuring small molecules and their metabolites in a variety of biological tissues for over 30 years. For this purpose, they employ state-of-the-art instrumentation including mass spectrometry technology. This enables them to quantify drug concentrations in minimal sample volumes with very high sensitivity. 

RenaSci employs dual-probe microdialysis to measure extracellular levels of neurotransmitters in different brain regions of freely-moving rats. For example, we have recently measured the effects of d-amphetamine 0.5 mg/kg sc on dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens and on acetylcholine levels in the prefrontal cortex. Microdialysate samples from this study were sent to pharm-analyt for analysis. The results show an excellent correlation between d-amphetamine concentrations and dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens and a weaker though still strong relationship between d-amphetamine concentrations and acetylcholine levels in the prefrontal cortex.

Please click here to see the data. 

The ability to measure drug concentrations and neurotransmitter levels in the same microdialysate sample provides important information regarding the pharmacodynamics-pharmacokinetic properties of the drug.

For further information about this new service please contact

RenaSci Director to Present at Workshop on Drug Dependence at the CPDD 

23/05/2016 11:15

Our expert on drug abuse and dependence, Professor David Heal, will be participating in the 78th Annual Meeting of the CPDD (College on Problems of Drug Dependence) which will be held at La Quinta Resort & Club, Palm Springs, California, USA, 11th to 16th June, 2016.

David will be speaking in Workshop XIII 'Regulatory and Methodological Considerations in the Evaluation of Drug Dependence in the Preclinical and Clinical Setting' to be held on Tuesday 14th June. The session will be chaired by Beatrice Setnik (INC Research) and Michael Klein (Controlled Substance Staff of the FDA). 

The title of the talk that David will be giving is 'An overview of preclinical models to assess physical and psychological dependence and their translation to the clinic'.

Other speakers at the workshop include Alicja Lerner (CSS,FDA); Jack Henningfield (Pinney Associates), and Sian Ratcliffe (Pfizer Inc). 

David will also be giving the following oral communications at the meeting:

Evaluation of the reinforcing effect of the κ-opioid receptor agonist CR845 using a self-administration procedure in heroin-maintained rats (to be presented at the ISGIDAR (International Study Group Investigating Drugs as Reinforcers) meeting on 11th June).

Investigation of the κ-opioid receptor agonist CR845 and reference comparator, butorphanol, in rats trained to discriminate (-) pentazocine from saline (to be presented on Tuesday 14th June, Abstract No. 232). 

Please contact us on if you would like to see David at the CPDD or for further information about our drug abuse liability testing services.

New Nicotine Self-administration Procedure

06/04/2016 10:40

We have recently validated a nicotine intravenous self-administration model in rats using fixed and progressive ratio schedules of reinforcement. We found that the relative reinforcing effect of nicotine equals that of a highly reinforcing dose of heroin.

This model can now be used to assess the abuse liability of novel CNS drugs with nicotinic mechanisms or to evaluate novel interventions to treat nicotine addiction (eg for smoking cessation).

Please click here to see the data and contact us for further information about our nicotine intravenous self-administration procedure.

RenaSci Enters Strategic Alliance with Sygnature Discovery

16/02/2016  02:15

RenaSci has entered into a strategic alliance with Sygnature Discovery in the therapeutic areas of metabolic and CNS disorders. This exciting new collaboration will cement the existing close, working relationship between Sygnature and RenaSci, accelerating clients’ projects in metabolic and CNS disorders from discovery into development.

Sygnature is the UK’s largest, independent provider of drug discovery services for the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry with over 110 experienced scientists located in modern, purpose-built laboratories at BioCity, Nottingham. Sygnature’s capabilities, which include medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry, bioscience (in vitro), DMPK and physical sciences and protein crystallography, will be complemented by our in vivo animal models and assays for evaluating the efficacy, mode of action and side-effect profiles of new drugs to treat diabetes, obesity and CNS disorders.

We believe that our clients will benefit from this alliance by having access to a wide range of fully-integrated drug discovery services, at the same location, from two leading service providers with international reputations for delivering drug candidates into the clinic. The close proximity of the two companies at the BioCity site, coupled with our effective working relationship, will allow novel compounds designed, synthesised and tested in vitro at Sygnature, to rapidly progress to in vivo testing in appropriate animal models in our laboratories.

To see the full press release please click here.

RenaSci will continue to provide pre-clinical services and consultancy independently.