Lactocore: Innovative peptide-based approach to treat stress-related disorders

Mental Health

Lactocore is an innovative start-up, developing novel drugs based on milk-derived peptides. The current pipeline consists of a number of preclinical and research compounds. The most advanced drug, LCGA-17, has shown very high efficacy in animal models of anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Currently, we are raising the financing to conduct safety preclinical studies in order to prepare the drug for testing in humans.

Project Status

Clinical Stage
Patent Status
Patent not filed

Funding Opportunity

Opportunity type
Funding requested
Funding allocated


Lactocore Group is a privately funded company with a team of biologists, biochemists and computational biologists (10 PhDs). Its mission is to identify and develop transformative new medicines for mental and metabolic diseases. Lactocore's expertise spans in-silico drug discovery, peptide drug development, and behavioral neuroscience. A lean, efficient, semi-virtual company, Lactocore has its HQ in Massachusetts and a network of global Clinical Research Organizations and collaborators. The combination of proprietary computational tools and a lean international team allows conducting cutting-edge R&D at a fraction of the cost of traditional biotech companies. Lactocore Group has identified novel milk-derived peptides that hold potential for developing safer and more effective treatments for a range of common psychiatric, metabolic and cognitive disorders. Lead asset LCGA-17—with indications in post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety—is currently at the pre-IND stage. In 2021, Lactocore Group applied for two patents related to peptide therapeutic agents that treat mental disorders and metabolic disorders as type 2 diabetes. The privately funded company combines decades of experience in peptide R&D in their proprietary computational peptide discovery engine with AI-enabled modules, utilizing rapid and cost-efficient proof of principle studies that cut the costs of drug discovery.

Project Details

Lactocore's research has identified a previously unknown family of peptides with biological activity in anxiety and depression through the proprietary hydrolysis of whey and casein from bovine milk. Through the use of mass spectrometry, bioinformatics analysis, and a proprietary 3D docking and scoring algorithms, Lactocore has been able to narrow the number of relevant peptides to those that best fit binding sites of preselected receptors thought to induce signaling cascades similar to "rapid" antidepressants. Based on these findings, a computational peptide discovery engine, Reptide, with AI-enabled modules for de novo peptide discovery is currently being developed to efficiently solve recurrent problems in structure optimization. Lactocore is studying its peptides in vitro and in vivo, examining their efficacy, preliminary toxicity and safety, and mechanisms of action. Its leading patented candidate, LCGA-17, is targeted against anxiety and depression, with potential in also treating PTSD and neuropathic pain. LCGA-17 is a novel α2δ voltage-gated calcium channel (VGCC) subunit inhibitor with a differentiated efficacy profile and no safety liabilities when compared to current standards of care. LCGA-17 intranasal formulations administered once-daily deliver rapid onset of action and prolonged effect. Based on Lactocore's preclinical research, it would also carry few to no side effects (such as drowsiness), would be non-toxic, and would not be addictive. Additional links to the publications and patents:

Project Timeline

  • Pre-IND preclinical studies

    Required Funding$500,000
    Duration12 Months

    GLP studies are the major step to transfer preclinical molecule to the clinical stage. Successful completion of this phase significantly increases chances of the molecule to become a drug and thus – the value of the asset. Cost of the GLP study for LCGA-17 is 1,000,000 USD. With 50% of financing already secured Lactocore is seeking for additional 500,000USD in order to conduct the study and increase the value of the asset.