Molecule of the Week

Ebselen

June 3, 2013

Ebselen—formally, 2-phenyl-1,2-benzisoselenazol-3(2H)-one—readily scavenges hydrogen peroxide and hydroperoxides in vivo. It was originally developed (and then abandoned) as a drug for stroke patients. In 2012, G. C. Churchill and S. R. Vasudevan at the University of Oxford (UK) discovered that ebselen is an inositol monophosphatase inhibitor and has effects that are similar to lithium in a mouse model of mania. It is currently in clinical trials as a drug for treating bipolar disorder.

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