Chemical Modulators of Nurr1

Tech ID: 30524 / UC Case 2019-134-1

Invention Novelty

Long thought to be undruggable, Nurr1 is a nuclear receptor and transcription factor involved in the development, maintenance, and survival of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, which makes it an attractive target for developing therapeutics for such indications of Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and schitzophrenia.

Value Proposition

If validated, this could be the first therapeutic to target Nurr1 directly instead of any upstream effectors that control dopaminergic neurons.

Small molecule modulators of Nurr1 function may be used to :

  • stimulate the development of dopaminergic neurons from stem cells,
  • support the health of mature dopaminergic neurons,
  • prevent the degeneration of mature dopaminergic neurons,
  • stimulate the synthesis of dopamine in neurons.

Technology Description

UCSF scientists have conducted a screen which allowed them to identify chemical hits that bind the ligand-binding domain of Nurr1 with the long term goal of developing ligands that stabilize specific nuclear receptor conformations and regulate specific target genes.   

Looking for Partners

To develop & commercialize the technology as a therapeutic for treating neurological diseases. 

Stage of Development

Proof of Concept

Data Availability

Available under CDA

Patent Status

Patent Pending


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  • England, Pamela M.

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