LA JOLLA, Calif., May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- TorreyPines Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: TPTX) today announced that it has signed an exclusive license agreement with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) for intellectual property related to the novel use of glutamate receptor antagonists, including the company's lead compounds tezampanel and NGX426, for the prevention and treatment of stroke, heart attack and other conditions associated with increased platelet aggregation. Financial terms of the license agreement were not disclosed.
The intellectual property is based on research conducted in the JHU laboratories of Craig Morrell, D.V.M., Ph.D., and Charles Lowenstein, M.D., that demonstrates the importance of glutamate release in promoting platelet activation and thrombosis and which identifies the AMPA receptors on platelets as a new antithrombotic target. Published in the March issue of The Journal of Experimental Medicine, the research shows that platelets treated with an AMPA receptor antagonist are more resistant to agonist-induced aggregation than untreated platelets. The studies also show that mice treated with an AMPA receptor antagonist have a prolonged time to clot formation and blood vessel occlusion compared with control mice.
"This is breakthrough research that further illustrates the importance of glutamate receptors as a new target for a wide range of indications," said Neil Kurtz, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of TorreyPines Therapeutics. "Additionally, the findings underscore the versatility and commercial prospects for our lead AMPA/kainate receptor antagonists, tezampanel and NGX426. By acting through a different mechanism of action than Plavix(R), aspirin or tPA, our compounds could one day provide a treatment alternative for the more than 1.5 million people affected by stroke or heart attack each year."
Tezampanel, given subcutaneously, and NGX426, given orally, are currently being developed by TorreyPines Therapeutics for the treatment of acute migraine and chronic pain. Tezampanel has also been safely administered intravenously in five positive Phase II studies.
Tezampanel is the first AMPA/kainate-type glutamate receptor antagonist to be studied in clinical trials for chronic pain. Glutamate receptors mediate the functioning of glutamate, an important excitatory neurotransmitter. While normal glutamate production is essential, excess glutamate production, either through injury or disease, can have a range of pathological effects. By acting at both the AMPA and kainate receptor site to competitively block the binding of glutamate, both tezampanel and its oral prodrug, NGX426, have the potential to treat a number of diseases and disorders. These include migraine and other forms of chronic pain such as neuropathic pain, muscle spasticity and rigidity, thrombosis, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and a condition known as central sensitization, a persistent state of hypersensitivity to pain that is a core component of many pain conditions.
About TorreyPines Therapeutics
TorreyPines Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company committed to providing patients with better alternatives to existing therapies through the research, development and commercialization of small molecule compounds. The company's goal is to develop versatile product candidates each capable of treating a number of acute and chronic diseases and disorders such as migraine, chronic pain, muscle spasticity and rigidity, xerostomia and cognitive disorders. The company is currently developing four product candidates, two ionotropic glutamate receptor antagonists and two muscarinic receptor agonists. Further information is available at http://www.torreypinestherapeutics.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements or predictions. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the potential for tezampanel and NGX426 as a treatment for stroke, heart attack and other conditions associated with increased platelet aggregation and the potential for tezampanel and NGX426 as treatments for migraine and other forms of chronic pain such as neuropathic pain, muscle spasticity and rigidity, thrombosis, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and central sensitization. Such statements are subject to numerous known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause TorreyPines' actual results to be materially different from historical results or from any results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including whether any preclinical studies or clinical trials conducted in the future, will prove successful, and if successful, whether the results can be replicated. These and other risks which may cause results to differ are described in greater detail in the "Risk Factors" section of TorreyPines' annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2007 and TorreyPines other SEC reports. The forward-looking statements are based on current information that is likely to change and speak only as of the date hereof.
SOURCE TorreyPines Therapeutics, Inc.