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Title:  Method for administering neurologic agents to the brain

United States Patent:  6,180,603

Inventors:  Frey, II; William H. (White Bear Lake, MN)

Assignee:  Chiron Corporation (Emeryville, CA)

Appl. No.:  780335

Filed:  January 8, 1997


Disclosed is a method for transporting neurologic therapeutic agents to the brain by means of the olfactory neural pathway and a pharmaceutical composition useful in the treatment of brain disorders.


These and other goals are met by the present invention which is directed to a method to convey therapeutic substances to the brain for the treatment of neurologic or psychiatric disorders and a pharmaceutical composition capable of delivering a neurologic agent to the brain for use in such a method of treatment. More specifically, the method of medical treatment involves intranasal administration of a neurologic agent which may be absorbed into the olfactory system of the brain for the treatment of brain disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, affective disorders such a depression and mania, nerve damage from cerebrovascular disorders such as stroke and the like.

According to the method of the invention, a neurologic substance is administered to the nasal cavity of a patient affected with Alzheimer's disease or other disease afflicting the brain. The neurologic factor may be applied alone or in combination with other substances. Particular formulations may include the neurologic substance in combination with a pharmaceutically-acceptable carrier and/or components that may facilitate the transfer of the neurologic agent through the nasal mucosa and/or along the olfactory neural pathway to damaged nerve cells of the brain.

The neurologic agent may be administered intranasally as a powder, spray, gel, ointment, infusion, injection, or drops.

The method of the invention may employ transneuronal anterograde and retrograde transport of the neurologic agent entering through the olfactory system of the brain. Once the agent is dispensed into the nasal cavity, the agent may transport through the nasal mucosa by means of the peripheral olfactory neurons into the olfactory bulb and interconnected areas of the brain such as the hippocampal formation, amygdaloid nuclei, nucleus basalis of Meynert, locus ceruleus, and the brainstem raphe nuclei. The agent alone may facilitate this movement into the brain. Alternatively, the carrier and/or other transfer-promoting factors may assist in the transport of the neurologic agent into and along the olfactory neural pathway.

Lipophilic substances in the form of micelles may be added to the pharmaceutical composition to enhance absorption of the neurologic agent across the olfactory epithelium. Among those substances that are preferred micellar additives are GM-1 gangliosides and phosphatidylserine (PS), which may be combined with the neurologic agent either alone or in combination.

The invention further provides a method for preventing neurodegenerative disorders. Intranasal administration of nerve growth promoting factors to peripheral nerve cells of the olfactory system, a purported entryway for causative agents of brain diseases, helps protect against disease in these nerve cells and regenerate injured nerve cells thereby forestalling the subsequent spread of disease to susceptible areas of the brain.

The invention is also directed to a pharmaceutical composition which may be used in the method of medical treatment and/or prophylaxis. The composition is comprised of a neurologic agent in combination with a pharmaceutical carrier and/or the foregoing optional additives which promote the transfer of the agent within the olfactory system.

The neurologic agent is the active ingredient of the composition. It is preferred that the neurologic agent promote nerve cell growth and survival or augment the activity of functioning cells. Among those agents that are preferred are neurotrophic and neuritogenic factors that are similar to naturally occurring nerve growth promoting substances. Among the preferred neurologic agents are gangliosides, phosphatylserine (PS), nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor, fibroblast growth factor, insulin, insulin-like growth factors, ciliary neurotrophic factor, glia-derived nexin, and cholinergic enhancing factors such as phosphoethanolamine and thyroid hormone T.3. GM-1 ganglioside and nerve growth factor (NGF) are particularly preferred. One or several neurologic substances may be combined together.

A preferred embodiment of the composition is the combination of an effective amount of nerve growth factor (NGF) protein with a pharmaceutically-acceptable liquid carrier containing an appropriate amount of micelles comprised of GM-1 ganglioside. GM-1 is thought to act synergistically with nerve growth factor (NGF) to protect neurons and promote nerve regeneration and repair. See Gorio et al., Neuroscience 8:417-429 (1983).

Claim 1 of 41 Claims

What is claimed is:

1. A method for transporting a neurologic agent to a brain of a mammal, comprising:

applying a pharmaceutical composition comprising the neurologic agent to an upper third of a nasal cavity of the mammal, wherein the neurologic agent is absorbed through a nasal mucosa and transported to the brain of the mammal


If you want to learn more about this patent, please go directly to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Web site to access the full patent.



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