Office of Commercialization  New Small Molecule Treatment for Neurodegenerative Diseases
New Small Molecule Treatment for Neurodegenerative Diseases

New Small Molecule Treatment for Neurodegenerative Diseases


Unmet Need: Effective strategies to treat Neurodegenerative Diseases.

Neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) are a leading cause of death and disability around the world, particularly among the elderly. As these diseases progress, patients suffer from dementia, memory loss, motor dysfunction and other symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for most neurodegenerative diseases. The existing treatments may slow disease progression or provide symptomatic relief, but do not halt or reverse the disease. There is a need to understand the mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases and thus approach the treatment accordingly.


The Technology: Development of new small molecule treatment.

The naturally occurring, sulfur-containing amino acid metabolite, lanthionine ketenamine (LK) and its brain-permeable, synthetic, 5-ethyl ester (LKE) have been shown to exhibit neuroprotective, neurotrophic and anti-neuroinflammatory properties. LKE also stimulates cellular autophagy in multiple cell types. Researchers at WSU hypothesized that small molecules mimicking the structure of lanthionine ketenamine can stimulate autophagy and can be used as treatments for neurodegenerative diseases.



•       Treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.



•       This invention provides a synthetic strategy was employed to create new LKE-like molecules with increased efficacy and potency as autophagy stimulators.


Patent Information:

Provisional Patent filed



Patent Information: