Marvel Biosciences Lead Drug Candidate MB-204  Demonstrated Superior Anti-Anxiety Activity Over FDA-Approved Istradefylline in Head-to-Head Pre-clinical Studies

Calgary,  AB – November 14, 2022 – Marvel Biosciences Corp. (TSXV: MRVL) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Marvel Biotechnology Inc. (collectively the Company or Marvel“), is pleased to announce that in a pre-clinical test for anxiety, its lead drug candidate MB-204, a fluorinated derivative of Istradefylline, out-performed Istradefylline in a head-to-head pre-clinical and in depressive and anti-anxiety studies. Istradefylline is the only US FDA approved A2a receptor antagonist currently approved to treat Parkinson’s disease.


“This head-to-head study suggests MB-204 has a superior anti-anxiety activity compared to its parental molecule Istradefylline,” said Dr Mark Williams, Chief Science Officer of Marvel Biosciences. “What was particularly interesting is that the mice treated with MB-204 had more social interactions than mice treated with Istradefylline. Social isolation can compound depression and anxiety, so this is an intriguing finding for MB-204.”


“Depression and anxiety can be debilitating and it continues to be a growing problem among many age groups,” said Rod Matheson CEO of Marvel Biosciences. ”With rates of up to one in eight adults taking an anti-depressive*, and the recent revisiting of the serotonin hypothesis of depression, the need for novel anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications is greater than ever. We are on track to enter Phase I FDA human trials as early as the first quarter of next year and hope to advance our unique lead candidate MB-204 through the FDA approval process as quickly as possible to help alleviate patients’ suffering from these conditions with a new mechanism of action.”


Using the well-established elevated plus maze pre-clinical model for anxiety, and the same doses of MB-204 as compared to Istradefylline (7.5 mg/kg) resulted in:


  • Longer times spent in the open arms, especially in the first minute, which indicates a larger anti-anxiety effect
  • Engaged in more risky behaviour than Istradefylline, as measured by head dipping behaviours again suggesting less anxiety
  • Did not trigger excessive locomotive activity whereas Istradefylline did promote excessive locomotive activity
  • Promoted ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs), whereas Istradefylline did not evoke any USVs which is indicative of social communication




About Marvel Biosciences Corp.


Marvel Biosciences Corp., and its wholly owned subsidiary, Marvel Biotechnology Inc., is a Calgary-based pre-clinical stage pharmaceutical development biotechnology company that utilizes a “drug redevelopment” approach to drug development. Historically, when a new class of drug is developed, it is optimized for a particular target, but typically only approved for a specific disease. Often, a new disease is identified which involves the same target, however, pending the remaining patent life, the originally approved drug may not have sufficient time left for it to be commercially viable to be developed for the new disease indication. Marvel develops new synthetic chemical derivatives of the original approved drug for the new disease indication. Patent protection is sought, as the new potential asset is developed by the Company. The Company believes the business model results in significantly less risk, cost and time to develop its assets compared to traditional biotechnology companies.


Marvel Biotechnology Inc. has currently developed several new chemical entities, using synthetic chemical derivatives of known, off-patent drugs, that inhibit the A2a adenosine receptor with application to neurological diseases (depression & anxiety, Alzheimer’s, ADHD), and the non-neurological conditions of cancer and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Marvel is also exploring additional undisclosed targets to expand its asset pipeline.


Contact Information:


Investor Relations                              Marvel Biosciences Corp.

Virtus Advisory Group                        Roderick (Rod) Matheson, Chief Executive Officer or

Tel: 416-644-5081                               Dr. Mark Williams, President, and Chief Science Officer

Tel: 403 770 2469

Email:        Email:


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Source:    Marvel Biosciences Corp.