Drug discovery



Retrotope, Inc. commercializes the idea that fortifying food with heavy isotopes protects living cells by making bonds within the delicate molecules inside and around cells harder to break and the cells less prone to damage. Retrotope's drug platform, deuterium stabilized polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), prevents lipid peroxidation damage from propagating, rapidly stopping the toxic chain reaction at its source. Because the fatty acids in mitochondrial and cellular membranes turn over rapidly, the dietary substitution of stabilized fatty acids creates cells fortified against damage due to kinetic isotope effect. 11,11-D2-ethyl linoleate suppresses lipid peroxidation even at relatively low levels of incorporation into membranes. Founded in 2006 by entrepreneurs and scientists Charles Cantor, Robert Molinari and Mikhail Shchepinov, Retrotope is developing a non-antioxidant approach to preventing lipid peroxidation, a detrimental factor in mitochondrial, neuronal and retinal diseases. The first deuterated PUFA made and studied by Retrotope, 11,11-D2-ethyl linoleate, has become the first Retrotope's drug RT001 that was taken into the clinic. It has passed Phase I/II clinical trial for the treatment of Freiderich's ataxia. In 2017 FDA granted RT001 orphan drug designation in the treatment of phospholipase 2G6-associated neurodegeneration


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