• David Grammig

Mercator Discoveries - treating brain injuries

Captons Designed for Precision Treatment Solely to Affected Tissues

Mercaptor is developing a range of novel drug therapies to treat brain injuries and neurodegenerative conditions such as TBI, CTE, MS, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS, using our newly discovered injury – isolating molecules called “captons”. Capton – based drugs could be as revolutionary as some of medicine’s biggest paradigm shifters, including vaccines (1796), antibiotics (1928), antibodies (1959), and kinase inhibitors (1990).



Brain Trauma is Propagated by Excitotoxic Stress


When brain tissue is injured and dying cells release their contents, the result is called excitotoxicity. This release event is intrinsically expansive, bringing pathogenic stress to neighboring cells, moving outward from the initial occurrence, increasing the area of brain damage. Certain injuries spread quickly while others develop over many years. No drugs today meaningfully treat excitotoxicity.

Excitotoxic stress is inherent in acute brain injuries like TBI, CTE, spinal cord injury, and stroke as well as neurodegenerative diseases including MS, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, and Huntington’s disease. Captons address excitotoxicity through unprecedented and previously unknown chemistry discovered and placed in development by Mercaptor.


Captons Engineered to Stop Excitotoxicity


Captons are inherently selective. They can and do differentiate between healthy and diseased brain tissue, acting only at the site of injury to treat excitotoxic stress at sites of damage, in exact proportion to the damage itself.


Captons respond directly to metabolites released during the process of excitotoxicity, becoming active in direct response to the extent of the pathology being treated. Currently there are no drugs on the market that halt excitotoxicity, the underlying cause of brain injury and neurodegeneration.


Captons Succeed Where Other Drugs Have Failed


Many previously studied neuroactive therapeutic molecules are ineffective as drugs for either of two reasons: (1) due to their inability to cross the blood-brain barrier or (2) because, unlike captons, they are non-selective resulting in off-target effects tied to wide, untargeted distribution within the brain. A capton would circumvent both of these intolerable effects.

Mercaptor’s preclinical studies show that captons do cross the blood-brain barrier. Our studies also show, when encountered by injured tissue, a capton will undergo an irreversible structural change, forming a neuroactive therapeutic molecule. These molecules are widely known to science and medicine, sometimes for decades, for having anti-excitatory properties. Studies have demonstrated that stopping excitotoxic stress slow – or even stops – the spread of tissue damage within the brain.


Mercaptor’s Team Builds Biotech Success



Mercaptor’s founders have an extensive track record and decades of experience, including the establishment of a successful biotech company, Raptor Pharmaceuticals, in 2006. Raptor was purchased in 2016 for almost $900M.


This same team formed Mercaptor Discoveries and is working to bring captons to the market.


During the course of their research at Raptor Pharmaceuticals and later at Mercaptor, our founding scientists followed a path that led to the discovery of capton chemistry.

Mercaptor’s team has the proven expertise to navigate the path to take a drug from bench – to clinic – to market.

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