Israeli pharmaceutical start-up Alcobra has developed a superior non-stimulant compound in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Alcobra’s most advanced product (MG01C1), it is expected to reach the market in 2015.

Alcobra, listed on the NASDAQ electronic stock exchange under the ticker ADHD, “committed to developing safe and effective products for the treatment and control of CNS [central nervous system] disorders,” according to its website.

The US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cites ADHD “as one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders of childhood,” which “often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.”

In an interview published in Israeli business daily Globes, Alcobra President and CEO Dr. Yaron Daniely said the company was originally created in 2008 to develop the molecule metadoxine to help inhibit the effects of alcohol on the brain.

“The goal was to create a pill that would quickly reduce blood alcohol levels, so that people would be able to drive safely,” Daniely told Globes. “It turned out the drug had no significant impact on removing alcohol from the blood, but it had a very significant impact on cognitive ability. In driving, memory, and attention tests that were conducted, it was as though those people were not drunk, despite the fact that, in terms of the amount of alcohol in their blood, it was not clear that they would be able to stand on their own two feet. So the idea to treat Attention Deficit Disorder came about.”


Alcobra conducted a pilot in 2010 among 40 adults with ADHD, which revealed ““an immediate and significant improvement in attention tests,” its website explains.

ADHD is a common condition, the site continues, affecting four-to-five percent of adults worldwide. “Adult ADHD is associated with increased health risks and healthcare costs, higher divorce rates, lower levels of socioeconomic attainment, lower academic achievement, unemployment and work place deficits, increased risks for motor vehicle accidents, greater likelihood of additional psychiatric disorders, increased criminal activity and incarceration, and higher rates of substance use and abuse; Most adults with ADHD remain undiagnosed and untreated.”

Furthermore, “While approved stimulant medications have been shown to be effective and safe for the treatment of ADHD, up to 30% to 50% of those who are prescribed stimulants for ADHD either do not respond to or do not tolerate these treatments; the utility of stimulants is further hindered by potential risk for abuse (stimulants are scheduled drugs). Consequently, it is important to develop safe and effective non-stimulant treatment alternatives.”

According to the Globes interview, “Daniely believes that MG01CI has the best of both worlds: it has few side effects, an immediate effect, and no high, which means that it will not come under narcotics regulations.”

Author: United with Israel Staff
Date: Dec. 10, 2013