NP10679 is in development to prevent brain ischemia during stroke or subarachnoid hemorrhage
NeurOp, Inc. today announced that it has received a $3.5 million award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), a division of the NIH, to begin clinical testing of the Company’s drug candidate NP10679, a GluN2B subunit-specific NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) inhibitor. NeurOp is investigating NP10679 for the prevention of ischemic damage during a stroke or subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).
“We designed NP10679 with great care to incorporate the attributes we believe differentiate this molecule from other NMDA inhibitors in development,” said Barney Koszalka, PhD, NeurOp CEO. “For example, the binding of the molecule is enhanced in an acidic environment, a property other NMDA inhibitors lack. This property of pH dependence improves the chance of achieving efficacy at dose levels devoid of side effects. We would like to partner with a pharmaceutical company in future trials to fully explore this advantage in an array of disorders such as stroke, treatment-resistant depression and neuropathic pain.”
NP10679 is bioavailable by either the oral or IV route, and it will initially be evaluated in a Phase 1 study in healthy human volunteers by the IV route. The study is expected to start in early 2018. Pre-clinical studies have shown efficacy in treating complications associated with SAH. An IND for NP10679 was opened in 2016.
NeurOp’s Chief Scientific Officer, Robert Zaczek, PhD, added, “The safety profile of NP10679 allows for prophylactic use in patients at risk for an ischemic event, such as those suffering an SAH. This is important because extensive data has shown that early intervention is key for robust efficacy of neuroprotective therapy. Our prophylactic intervention strategy will place NP10679 at its site of action before an SAH-driven delayed cerebral ischemia event takes place. This eliminates the time-of-dosing caveat that might, in part, have led to previous failures of clinical tests involving glutamatergic agents in stroke and head trauma.”
Note: Research reported in this news release is supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) under Award Number R44NS071657. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH.
NeurOp, Inc. is an Atlanta-based biopharmaceutical company developing new medicines for central nervous system disorders, including depression, neuropathic pain, ischemia (stroke), schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. Its research targets specific subunits of neuronal NMDA receptors to identify and evaluate small molecule modulators for potential therapeutic benefit. Multi-year funding from the NIH supports the Company’s research and development programs for NP10679 for the prevention of ischemic damage during a stroke or subarachnoid hemorrhage. For more information, please visit www.neuropinc.com.
Barney Koszalka, PhD, CEO