Developing Selective Melanotropin 4 Ligands for the Neurodegenerative Diseases, Including Alzheimer’s

Technology #ua17-016

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Minying Cai
Research Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Victor Hruby
Regents Professor Emeritus, Chemistry & Biochemistry
Managed By
Paul Eynott
Sr. Licensing Manager (520) 621-2878

Title: Developing Selective Melanotropin 4 Ligands for the Neurodegenerative Diseases


Invention: This technology is the development of ligands that selectively bind to the Melanocortin 3 Receptor (MC3R) and Melanocortin 4 Receptor (MC4R) and modulate receptor activity as a therapy for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or other neurodegenerative diseases. The melanocortin receptor ligand is bound to an MC3R and/or MC4R selective moiety, which allows the complex to cross the blood brain barrier. The ligand-moiety complex has improved selectivity to MC3R and/or MC4R and anti-inflammation function.


Background: MC3R and MC4R are under-targeted in treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. In addition, existing ligand analogues have low selectivity and anti-inflammation function relative to the present invention.



  • Treatment for neurodegenerative diseases



  • Targets a unique pathway in neurodegenerative disease development
  • Ligand-moiety complex has improved selectivity for the MC3R and/or MC4R receptors
  • Retains a better anti-inflammation function than existing ligand analogues

Licensing Manager:

Rakhi Gibbons

(520) 626-6695