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Mar 21, 2007

Avera Gains Rights to Muscle Paralysis Compounds

  • Avera Pharmaceuticals licensed two products from Cornell University. The first product, AV002, is an intermediate-acting, nondepolarizing neuromuscular blocking candidate in late preclinical development. Administered intravenously in humans, AV002 is expected to produce endotracheal intubating conditions within 60–90 seconds and provide muscle paralysis for approximately 30 minutes.

    The second product is a reversal agent that leverages AV002’s inactivation process that normally occurs through binding with a naturally occurring substance. When administered exogenously to animals treated with AV002, the reversal agent has been shown to rapidly and completely reverse neuromuscular blockade. In addition to its effect on AV002, the reversal agent is expected to work with equal efficacy in neutralizing Avera’s ultrashort-acting, nondepolarizing neuromuscular blocker, gantacurium chloride, reports the company.

    According to the license agreement, Avera acquired from Cornell the worldwide rights to the compounds and supporting intellectual property in exchange for upfront, milestone, and royalty payments.



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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