More MS news articles for February 2000

Cortex Pharmaceuticals Receives Notice of Allowance For A Broad Patent to Treat Sexual Dysfunction

Company Also Receives Additional Patents for Several New Families of AMPAKINE Structures

Friday February 11, 8:01 am Eastern Time
Company Press Release
SOURCE: Cortex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Cortex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: CORX - news) today announced that it had received Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for additional claims that cover the use of AMPA receptor modulating compounds, regardless of structure, to treat sexual dysfunction. This patent application covers Cortex's AMPAKINES®, as well as compounds made by others that are positive modulators of the AMPA receptor and which are useful for treating sexual dysfunction.

"As animals and humans age, there is a slow, progressive loss of synaptic connections in the brain, resulting in reduced communication between brain cells or neurons. This loss of synapses may be accelerated in certain neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis and other central nervous system diseases,'' said Vincent F. Simmon, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Cortex. "One of the early signs of this loss of synapses is an increasing difficulty in remembering information.''

"Another sign can be decreased libido in both males and females,'' Dr. Simmon continued. "Loss of libido is also associated with other central nervous system diseases including depression and with chronic treatment with a number of medications.'' AMPAKINES enhance synaptic communication by increasing the normal effects of glutamate, the most prevalent neurotransmitter in the brain. Research conducted at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) demonstrated that treatment of elderly rodents with AMPAKINES resulted in improved sexual performance in a battery of standard animal assays for sexual function.

The inventors of this patent are Professors Gary Lynch, Ph.D. and Richard Granger, Ph.D., both of UCI. Cortex has an exclusive license to the claims covered by the patent.

"We are optimistic about developing this application with a pharmaceutical partner,'' stated Dr. Simmon. "The treatments that are currently available, including Viagra®, are approved for males who have a peripheral problem such as reduced circulation in the pelvic area due to disease or trauma. However, these drugs do not restore sexual drive or libido and it is recognized that Viagra does not provide benefit for all patients with sexual dysfunction. An AMPAKINE may be useful in patients, whether male or female, with sexual dysfunction due to reduced libido.''

It is estimated that sexual dysfunction increases from less than 10% of the population under 50 to as much as 60% of males over age 70.

Cortex also received US Patent No. 5,985,871 invented by Gary Rogers, Ph.D. Vice President, Pharmaceutical Discovery and Chris Marrs, Ph.D., a former employee of the Company, which describes "Benzoxazine Compounds for
Enhancing Synaptic Response.'' "This patent will significantly increase the number of proprietary compounds covered by Cortex's AMPAKINE family of AMPA receptor modulators,'' Dr. Rogers stated. "This patent is the result of our continuing development of more potent AMPAKINES and is consistent with our philosophy to seek patent protection on as many possible active molecules as possible.''

"The issuance of these patents adds to our very strong proprietary position of use patents and patents on important chemical structures that can be used to enhance nerve cell communication in the brain,'' added Dr. Simmon.

Cortex has now received a total of eight issued and two allowed US patents that cover the uses of AMPA receptor modulating technology and chemical structures that are useful for this technology.

Cortex, located in Irvine, California, is a neuroscience company focused on novel drug therapies for neurological and psychiatric disorders. The Company is pioneering a class of proprietary pharmaceuticals called AMPAKINES, which act to increase the strength of signals at connections between brain cells. Aberrant neural connections or loss of these connections is believed to be responsible for the memory and cognitive dysfunction associated with ageing and Alzheimer's disease. Recent clinical studies at Massachusetts General Hospital with CX516, one of Cortex's AMPAKINES, indicated improvements in tests of memory and cognition in a battery of neuropsychiatric tests as well as improvements of a number of clinical symptoms in patients with schizophrenia who were being treated with clozapine.

For Additional Information see:

Viagra is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc.

Note -- This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning the Company's research and development activities and business development plans. Actual results may differ materially, depending on a number of risk factors, including the risks that the Company may be unable to secure additional capital needed to continue its operations; that the Company may be unable to arrive at corporate partnerships with larger pharmaceutical companies on acceptable terms and therefore be required to independently fund clinical development of AMPAKINES through the sale of additional equity securities or otherwise; that the Company's proposed products may at any time be found to be toxic or ineffective for any or all of their proposed indications; that competitors may challenge or design around the Company's patents or develop competing technologies; and that clinical studies may at any point be suspended or take substantially longer than anticipated to complete. As discussed in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, the Company's proposed products would require additional research, lengthy and costly clinical testing and regulatory approval.

SOURCE: Cortex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.