Development of a Novel Drug for Neurodegenerative Disease and Migraine

Technology #ua16-046

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John Streicher
Michael Heien
Associate Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Bobbi Anglin
Instructor, CBC
Evan Jones
Graduate Assistant, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Robin Polt
Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Managed By
Laura Silva

Title: Development of a Novel Drug for Neurodegenerative Disease and Migraine

Invention: The invention is the development of pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide (PACAP) agonists for neuroprotection and antagonists for migraine.


Background: PACAP is known as a neuronal survival factor, regulating the development, maintenance, function, and plasticity of neurons through activating PAC1, VPAC1, and VPAC2 receptors. Glycosylated PACAP analogues have been found to penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB) at a high rate. In addition, VPAC1/2 receptors are involved in vasodilation and may contribute to migraine attacks. It is possible to treat these migraine attacks by using PACAP antagonists.



  • A novel drug compound for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases
  • May provide a novel technique to improve BBB permeability



  • Improves BBB permeability 
  • Possible treatment of migraines
  • Accessing the central nervous system (CNS) through the BBB may provide better treatment options


Licensing Manager:

Laura Silva

(520) 626-1557