NeurOp Receives Second Half of NIH Grant for Meeting Schizophrenia Research Milestones

NeurOp, Inc. has received $346,000 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the second half of a $700,000 grant made last year to support its schizophrenia treatment research. NeurOp is studying NR2C and NR2D subunit-selective NMDA receptor compounds as potential new antipsychotic medications.

“This grant required that we meet certain research objectives to qualify for the second year of funding, and I’m pleased to say that we accomplished those,” said Barney Koszalka, Ph.D., NeurOp president and chief executive officer. “In the next 12 months, our goal is to use these funds to advance the medicinal chemistry and pharmacology work that are needed to complete a proof of concept in animals.”

This project is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health of the National Institutes of Health under award number R43MH096363. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a complex, disabling and chronic brain disorder that typically strikes in the early adult years and affects one percent of the world’s population. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people with the disorder may hear voices that others do not. They may also believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated. Symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions usually start between ages 16 and 30.

Because the causes of schizophrenia are unknown, treatments focus on eliminating the symptoms and include antipsychotic medications, designated as typical and atypical, and various psychosocial treatments.

About NeurOp

NeurOp, Inc. is an Atlanta-based biopharmaceutical company developing new medicines for central nervous system disorders, including depression, neuropathic pain, ischemia (stroke), schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Its research targets various subunits of neuronal NMDA receptors and their potential therapeutic benefit. A research collaboration and licensing agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb currently funds and supports development of NeurOp’s compounds for the treatment of depression and neuropathic pain. Multi-year funding from the NIH supports its ischemia and schizophrenia research. For more information, please visit www.neuropinc.com.

NeurOp contact:

Barney Koszalka, CEO
Phone: 404.941.2350

 

NeurOp and Emory Scientists Target Cognitive and Mental Health Disorders

Schizophrenia, PTSD, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases Focus of Research Collaboration

 

NeurOp, Inc. has formed a research collaboration with Emory University to study modulation of certain brain cell receptors and its possible impact on several serious cognitive and mental health disorders – schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. NeurOp, a biopharmaceutical company, is working with Emory to accelerate NMDA (N-methyl D-aspartate) receptor research into potential new treatments for these areas of medical need.

“This three-year collaboration is based on our joint belief that NeurOp and Emory working together can speed the development of new medicines for certain central nervous system illnesses,” commented Dr. Robert Zaczek, chief scientific officer at NeurOp. “At the end of the period, our goal is to have compounds in late-stage optimization with one or more moving toward Investigational New Drug (IND) enabling testing.”

The collaboration combines the expertise of NeurOp scientists with Emory University’s NMDA receptor researchers, including its pharmacology team, led by Dr. Stephen Traynelis, and medicinal chemistry team of Dr. Dennis Liotta. These three groups of researchers aim to progress select molecules through late-stage lead optimization. Lead optimization is the complex process of refining the chemical structure of a biologically active compound to improve its drug characteristics, with the goal of producing a pre-clinical drug candidate.

Dennis Liotta, Ph.D., is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Chemistry at Emory University where he has been a faculty member for more than 25 years. He is a renowned organic and medicinal chemist and the author of approximately 200 publications and patents. Dr. Liotta’s research has focused on the discovery and development of novel antiviral and anticancer agents. Stephen Traynelis, Ph.D., is a professor of pharmacology at Emory University School of Medicine, where he has been a faculty member since 1994 and author of more than 300 papers, abstracts and patents. He is an expert on NMDA receptor activation and modulation.

“Steve and Dennis are global leaders in their respective fields. Coupled with NeurOp’s drug development team, we are positioned to quickly move the program forward,” said Barney Koszalka, Ph.D., NeurOp president and chief executive officer. “By combining our efforts and knowledge, we’ll gain a better understanding of how these compounds interact with various subunits of the NMDA receptor, which may yield exciting new treatments for a number of mental illnesses and nervous system disorders.”

About NeurOp
NeurOp, Inc. is an Atlanta-based biopharmaceutical company developing new medicines for central nervous system disorders, including depression, neuropathic pain, ischemia (stroke), schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Its research targets various subunits of neuronal NMDA receptors and their potential therapeutic benefit. A research collaboration and licensing agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) currently funds and supports development of NeurOp’s compounds for the treatment of depression and neuropathic pain. Multi-year funding from the NIH supports its ischemia and schizophrenia research. For more information, please visit www.neuropinc.com.