Glen Rock, N.J., May 17, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — RespireRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCQ:RSPI) (“RespireRx” or the “Company”), a leader in the discovery and development of innovative and revolutionary treatments to combat diseases caused by disruption of neuronal signaling, is pleased to announce that Dr. Arnold Lippa, Chief Scientific Officer, Executive Chairman of the Board and Interim President and Interim Chief Executive Officer was an invited speaker on April 23rd at the 2022 GRI Virtual Conference presented by CureGRIN and GRIN Therapeutics, where he presented data and discussed the potential use of AMPAkines for the treatment of certain GRI (ionotropic glutamate receptors) disorders. GRI disorders refers to a family of very rare, de novo, missense mutations in the genes responsible for the construction of ionotropic glutamate receptor proteins that, when assembled and activated by glutamate, allow the transport of cations through the neuronal membrane and into the cell. Patients with GRI disorders display a broad spectrum of symptoms, including cognitive deficits, delayed development, autism spectrum disorder behavioral patterns, hypotonia, respiratory difficulties and treatment resistant seizures. It is believed that various GRI related symptoms may be due to alterations in the GRI genes, including GRIA, GRIN and GRIK, genes coding for proteins associated with the AMPA, NMDA and kainite glutamate receptors, respectively.
The link to the video of Dr. Lippa’s presentation is below:
The CureGRIN Foundation ( https://curegrin.org/ ) is a parent-led organization working to find treatments and cures for patients with GRI disorders. It has been instrumental in raising funding for scientific research, educating and support parents and their families, as well as bringing researchers together for collaborative interactions.
Dr. Lippa described the work that EndeavourRx, our business unit focused on neuromodulators, has conducted in the process of developing a novel class of low impact AMPAkines that have shown positive results in human studies of target engagement, ADHD, cognition and respiration. Genetically modified mice have been created as models of certain genetic disorders, including Rett, Pompe and Stargazin deletion, which involve genetic mutations to various portions of the AMPA receptor complex. These animals display symptoms similar to those observed in patients with GRIA disorders. AMPAkines have shown positive effects in these animal models, including improvements in behavior, cognition and breathing.
“It was an honor to speak at the CureGRIN Foundation conference and present data we have accumulated with our collaborators supporting the concept that disorders of the ionotropic glutamate complex might underly many of the symptoms of these orphan disorders and that AMPAkines under development might possibly be used in the treatment of patients with mutagenic alterations in AMPA glutamate receptors. We are very enthusiastic about continuing our association with the CureGRIN Foundation and collaborating with the researchers to whom they have introduced us” said Dr. Lippa.
“GRI families around the world are desperate for treatments and cures that will help our loved ones. We’re excited to be working closely with biotechs and pharma companies, along with researchers and clinicians, to achieve our goals,” said Keith McArthur, CEO of CureGRIN Foundation.
About RespireRx Pharmaceuticals Inc.
RespireRx Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a leader in the discovery and development of medicines for the treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders, with a focus on treatments that address conditions affecting millions of people, but for which there are few or poor treatment options, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (“ADHD”), epilepsy, pain, recovery from spinal cord injury (“SCI”), certain neurological orphan diseases and obstructive sleep apnea (“OSA”). RespireRx is developing a pipeline of new and re-purposed drug products based on our broad patent portfolios for two drug platforms: (i) neuromodulators, which include AMPAkines and GABAkines, proprietary chemical entities that positively modulate (positive allosteric modulators or “PAMs”) AMPA-type glutamate receptors and GABAA receptors, respectively and (ii) pharmaceutical cannabinoids, which include dronabinol, a synthetic form of ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol (“Δ9-THC”) that acts upon the nervous system’s endogenous cannabinoid receptors.
The Company holds exclusive licenses and owns patents and patent applications or rights thereto for certain families of chemical compounds that claim the chemical structures and their uses in the treatment of a variety of disorders, as well as claims for novel uses of known drugs.
AMPAkines. Through an extensive translational research effort from the cellular level through Phase 2 clinical trials, the Company has developed a family of novel, low impact AMPAkines, including CX717, CX1739 and CX1942 that may have clinical application in the treatment of CNS-driven neurobehavioral and cognitive disorders, spinal cord injury, neurological diseases, and certain orphan indications. Our lead clinical compounds, CX717 and CX1739, have successfully completed multiple Phase 1 safety trials. Both compounds have also completed Phase 2 proof of concept trials demonstrating target engagement, by antagonizing the ability of opioids to induce respiratory depression.
After having shown positive activity in animal models of ADHD, CX717, one of our lead AMPAkines, demonstrated statistically significant improvement of symptoms observed in a Phase 2 human clinical trial in adult patients with ADHD. Statistically significant therapeutic effects were observed within one week. We believe AMPAkines may represent a novel, non-stimulant treatment for ADHD with a more rapid onset of action than alternative non- stimulants, such as Straterra® (atomoxetine), and without the drawbacks of amphetamine-type stimulants.
In a series of important studies funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health and published in a number of peer reviewed articles, Dr. David Fuller (University of Florida), a long-time RespireRx collaborator, has demonstrated the ability of CX1739 and CX717, the Company’s lead AMPAkines, to improve motor nerve activity and muscle function in animal models of spinal cord injury (SCI).
GABAkines. Under a License Agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Research Foundation, Inc. and on behalf of its EndeavourRx business unit, RespireRx has licensed rights to certain selectively acting GABAkines because of their ability to selectively amplify inhibitory neurotransmission at a highly specific, subset of GABAA receptors, thus producing a unique efficacy profile with reduced side effects. Preclinical studies have documented their efficacy in a broad array of animal models of interrelated neurological and psychiatric disorders including epilepsy, pain, anxiety, and depression in the absence of or with greatly reduced propensity to produce sedation, motor-impairment, tolerance, dependence and abuse. The Company currently is focusing on developing KRM-II-81 for the treatment of epilepsy and pain.
KRM-II-81 has displayed a high degree of anti-convulsant activity in a wide range of preclinical studies, including in treatment resistant and pharmaco-resistant models. Not only was KRM-II-81 highly effective in these models, but pharmaco-resistance or tolerance did not develop to its anti-convulsant properties. These latter results are particularly important because pharmaco-resistance occurs when medications that once controlled seizures lose efficacy as a result of chronic use and it is a principal reason some epileptic patients require brain surgery to control their seizures. In support of its potential clinical efficacy, translational studies have demonstrated the ability of KRM-II-81 to dramatically reduce epileptiform electrical activity when administered in situ to brain slices excised from treatment resistant epileptic patients undergoing surgery.
In addition, KRM-II-81 has displayed a high degree of analgesic activity in a number of preclinical studies. In intact animal models of pain, the analgesic efficacy of KRM-II-81 was comparable to or greater than commonly used analgesics. At the same time, KRM-II-81 did not display side effects such as sedation and motor impairment, but even more importantly, it did not produce tolerance, dependence, respiratory depression or behavioral changes indicative of abuse liability, which are produced by opioid narcotics and are at the heart of the opioid epidemic.
ResolutionRx: Pharmaceutical Cannabinoids
Dronabinol. RespireRx’s ResolutionRx business unit is developing dronabinol, ∆-9-THC, a synthetic version of the naturally occurring substance in the cannabis plant, for the treatment of OSA, a serious respiratory disorder that impacts an estimated 29.4 million people in the United States according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (“AASM”), published in August 2016. OSA has been linked to increased risk for hypertension, heart failure, depression, and diabetes, and has an annual economic cost in the United States of $162 billion according to the AASM. There are no approved drug treatments for OSA.
Two Phase 2 clinical trials have been completed demonstrating the ability of dronabinol to significantly reduce the symptoms of OSA and, subject to raising sufficient finance (of which no assurance can be provided) and pending the outcomes of an animal pharmacokinetic (“PK”) study and an intended meeting with the FDA, RespireRx believes that it will be able to commence a human PK study for a recently discovered and to-be-developed formulation followed by a Phase 3 clinical study for the treatment of OSA with the new formulation. Because dronabinol is already FDA approved for the treatment of AIDS related anorexia and chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting, the Company further believes that its re-purposing strategy would only require approval by the FDA of a 505(b)(2) new drug application (“NDA”), an efficient regulatory pathway that allows the use of publicly available data.
Additional information about RespireRx and the matters discussed herein can be obtained on the Company’s web-site at www.RespireRx.com or in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission at www.sec.gov.
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For more information about the risks and uncertainties the Company faces, see “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in our 2021 Form 10-K. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. The Company does not undertake and specifically declines any obligation to update any forward-looking statements or to publicly announce the results of any revisions to any statements to reflect new information or future events or developments. We advise investors, as well as potential collaborators and other potential stakeholders, to consult any further disclosures we may make on related subjects in our annual reports on Form 10-K and other reports that we file with or furnish to the SEC.
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Secretary
Telephone: (917) 834-7206
RespireRx Pharmaceuticals Inc.
126 Valley Road,
Glen Rock, NJ 07452
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