NeurOp, Inc. today announced that Bristol-Myers Squibb has selected an NR2B-specific N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor modulator as a drug development candidate for treatment-resistant depression. This decision triggers a milestone payment to NeurOp, which licensed its technology to Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2009. The compound can now advance into pre-IND studies.
“The team at Bristol-Myers Squibb has been a dedicated, insightful research partner as we have worked together for more than three years to identify and advance a new drug candidate,” commented Barney Koszalka, Ph.D., NeurOp president and CEO. “Reaching this clinical and financial milestone is important to NeurOp, because it will help support our R&D on additional subunits of the NMDA receptor as treatments for other central nervous system disorders.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Bristol-Myers Squibb agreed to pay NeurOp an upfront fee and fund a multi-year research collaboration. The direct research collaboration ended in December 2012, and the program was fully internalized at Bristol-Myers Squibb. NeurOp is eligible to receive additional milestone payments for the successful development of a compound and royalties on worldwide sales of commercialized compounds. Financial terms of the current milestone were not disclosed.
About Treatment-Resistant Depression
Unlike normal emotional experiences of sadness, loss or passing mood states, major depressive disorder (MDD) is persistent and can significantly interfere with thoughts, behavior, mood, activity and physical health. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, MDD is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for people aged 15 to 44 and affects almost 15 million adults, or about 6.7 percent of the population in a given year. Up to 15 percent of people with MDD die by suicide. About one-third of people suffering from depression do not get relief from first-line antidepressant medications. Of significant concern is the fact that even when effective there is a delay in onset of action of two weeks or more, during which time patients are at increased risk of suicide.
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. The company has licensed its technology to Bristol-Myers Squibb for the development of a compound for treatment-resistant depression. Multi-year funding from the NIH supports the company’s research and development programs for schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and NP10679, its drug candidate for the prevention of ischemic damage during a stroke or subarachnoid hemorrhage. For more information, please visit www.neuropinc.com.
Barney Koszalka, CEO
Phone: (919) 260-5595